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Cynops pyrrhogaster in the wild - Special!

This is a discussion on Cynops pyrrhogaster in the wild - Special! within the Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Here is a newt swimming in the pond containing members of the first group:...

Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) Perhaps the most famous and frequently bred newts in captivity, the fire-bellied newts and sword-tail newts are well known throughout the world as being excellent, gregarious captives.

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Old 15th June 2004   #21 (permalink)
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Here is a newt swimming in the pond containing members of the first group:

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Old 15th June 2004   #22 (permalink)
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The pond is located between forest and rice paddies, where C.p are usually found. But on this particular day, the temperature of the water in the paddies was a lethal 33C, while that in the pond, which is fed by water from a cool river nearby, was a cool 17.5C.

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Old 15th June 2004   #23 (permalink)
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Old 15th June 2004   #24 (permalink)
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Old 15th June 2004   #25 (permalink)
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Old 15th June 2004   #26 (permalink)
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A great series of field-herping pictures, Tim. Thank you very much for sharing. Are the animals still in breeding condition? Does this population remain aquatic for the whole year (or at least part of it) and hibernate in these ponds?
Looking forward to see pics of the second group of animals from the higher elevation location.

Ralf



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Old 16th June 2004   #27 (permalink)
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Thanks, Ralf. An interesting thing is that while some of the males in the first group had swollen cloacas, they did not have bright blue sheens on their tails as did at least one swollen-cloaca male in the second group (of which we didn't gather many members due to time constraints). Either they were no longer in breeding mode or the sheen was just not as apparent. Still, we did observe coupled newts and courtship activities such as tail-fanning. I'll be posting pics of the second group shortly Click the image to open in full size.

By the way, here's a map (which I'm sure you of all people have seen!) showing genetic relationships among C.p populations in eastern Japan. The ones pictured above were geographically closest to numbers 9 and 10, which would place them within the "Tohohu race" (numbers 1-11) among the six races defined by Sawada (1963) based on geographic variations in external characteristics. The ones to the south (Nos. 12-19) are of the "Kanto race".

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Source:
Genetic Differences Within and Between Two Local Races of the Japanese Newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, in Eastern Japan
Hayashi T., Matsui M.
Herpetologia 46(4)
December 1990


(Message edited by TJ on June 16, 2004)



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Old 16th June 2004   #28 (permalink)
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Now for some pics of newts from the second group. The difference in elevation is very slight and so it may not be a significant factor. The distance between the two populations is less than half a kilometer.

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Old 17th June 2004   #29 (permalink)
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Old 17th June 2004   #30 (permalink)
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Female:

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Male:

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(these are still of the 2nd group)



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Old 17th June 2004   #31 (permalink)
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Same male as above:

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Old 17th June 2004   #32 (permalink)
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Those field pics are pretty cute/interesting. The ones swimming, were they just doing that for the heck of it or trying to escape from you?

The belly variation is pretty interesting. I like the newt that looks like he has a lightning bolt.



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Old 17th June 2004   #33 (permalink)
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Ralf, seems I didn't get to all your questions Click the image to open in full size.

Sorry but I really don't know whether the newts remain aquatic for most or all of the year and hibernate in the ponds. I surmise they do.

I heard the newts in this valley are usually more dispersed throughout the rice paddies. But considering the intolerable temperature of the water in the lower elevation paddies on the day I visited, I can only guess those that normally dwell there either:

1) moved from the paddies to the pond (which would be a considerable distance from some paddies and require an great sense of direction or homing ability)

2) burrow deep in the mud (in which case I'd think they'd occasionally have to rise to the surface for air, but none could be observed)

There was the occasional newt in irrigation ditches that run near the paddies, but I neglected to measure the water temperature there. It would have been interesting to know. It would certainly far below 33C!

I do intend to return to the same location occasionally with my amphibian expert guide and make some more layman's observations, so please do prepare a list of what you'd like to know Click the image to open in full size. For the reason and others, I didn't bring any of them home with me. I'll just pretend I'm "keeping" them...esconsed in their natural habitat Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 17th June 2004   #34 (permalink)
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Hi Joseph, no, they weren't trying to escape in those pics, but just swimming around. Sure, they do make feeble attempts to avoid the net when you move in to catch them. But after being released, they tend to loiter around the release area. They're definitely not among the smartest of Earth's creatures Click the image to open in full size. Then again, packing tetrodotoxin like they do, they don't have many natural enemies.

This pic of a newt next to a type of fish known to eat salamanders was taken at the same pond:

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http://www.caudata.org/forum/message...tml?1087198730



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Old 17th June 2004   #35 (permalink)
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Joseph, yes, the variation in belly patterns in a single population was interesting to see, ranging from from black markings whatsoever on one newt:

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...to almost entirely black on another:

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Old 30th June 2004   #36 (permalink)
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Where can I find a cube like the one above which you are holding and displaying the newts in?



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Old 30th June 2004   #37 (permalink)
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Looks like the ones they use in fish stores to hold the fish for customers to inspect. Tons of those.



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Old 1st July 2004   #38 (permalink)
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What that is, Sharon, is a cube form of the betta jar, made of glass. Like Joseph said, they're used at tropical fish stores to display bettas and other fish. I'm still looking for something like it that's lighter in weight and perhaps rectangular. Plastic and acrylic containers are lightweight but scratch too easily.



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Old 15th August 2004   #39 (permalink)
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This time I visited C.p habitats in the northern and southern parts of Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan.

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(more pics to follow Click the image to open in full size.)



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Old 15th August 2004   #40 (permalink)
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The C.p found in the north (Group 1) were C.p.sasayamae, while the ones found in the south (Group 2) were of a different form that I was unable to determine.

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(Message edited by TJ on August 15, 2004)



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