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C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

This is a discussion on C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial within the Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I have a group of 5 C. e. popei. in a 46 gallon paludarium. The 2 biggest spend all their ...

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 1st January 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

I have a group of 5 C. e. popei. in a 46 gallon paludarium. The 2 biggest spend all their time in the water, 1 medium sizer is spending most of its time in the water but has been seen crawling out after a big meal, and the two smallest a strictly terrestrial. The 2 largest are the size of pet shop C. orientalis and at least one is a male and developing breeding garb and courting the other newts in the water.

Should I expect eggs(prolly no good) this year? The male is a good bit bigger than the possible female.

The biggest two spend most of their time hiding. The land/water section were made by false bottom method, so it is possible for the newts to make their way under the land section with relative ease. The bank also undercuts somewhat is some areas and they really like hiding in their. Any way to encourage em out more? The male's color on his dorsal doesn't seem as bright as previously and he's the shyest one.

Have their been any cases of newts getting stuck in decor etc. and drowning? I've seen the newts squeeze through eggcrate holes and between PVC pipes. They fit just fine now, but'll be too big for that before long. Thoughts?

Why do different Cynops species spend different amts of time in the water? I've heard C. cyanurus is the most aquatic. I recall in the wild C. ensicauda only lives in the water during breeding season. I find it interesting that this isn't happening in captivity.



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Old 1st January 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

All Cynops are highly aquatic in captivity, however this can vary between individuals, species, or even races....plus depending on the kind of set-up semi-aquatic habits can happen.
From what you discrive, they are still quite young, the male has probably just reached maturity, so itīs normal that he is trying to breed, but if the female is smaller, iīd say she is not mature yet....she will probably need another year.
The smaller ones are terrestrial because Cynops juveniles have a tendency to stay terrestrial until adulthood, or at least until the are young adults.
I donīt know about ensicauda since i donīt keep them, but beware of the posibility of drowning with the juveniles.

About the possibility of getting stuck, iīd say itīs a big risk. A tank should ideally be accident proof, because these animals are very exploratory and i wouldnīt be surprised if you had problems there....



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Old 1st January 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

Joseph, what temperature is the tank? If it's in the 70s they should be staying in the water.



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Old 1st January 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

Thanks for the advice Azhael. It'll be hard to accident proof this tank since eggcrate was a big part of the construction. But I'll remove what I can and rearrange things to try to minimize it. I've seen the juveniles fall into the water when walking downhill too fast(the land section slopes and they seem ill adapted to climb down!). They get out without any problems.

John: room temp is in the low 60's. Is that comment for the adults only?

This morning I spotted the male out of the water a good distance on the land section. He crawled down the slope and slipped in like a little croc when the light went on.

Seems like I forgot to include it but has anyone noticed the line of oval spots on the tail male phyrrogaster, cyanurus, and ensicauda get?



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Old 2nd January 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

At that temperature I wouldn't expect them to be fully aquatic. I have kept metamorph, juvenile and adult popei but never below about 68 F (20 degrees C) and usually in the early to mid 70s F (mid 20s Celsius).



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Old 2nd January 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

Considering their size, I think they are doing quite well in terms of how aquatic they are. Their choice of land/water is influenced by what is available: if there is a comfortable land area, they will continue to use it; if they had only a flat rock, they might all stay in water. If they are really only the size of orientalis, I don't think they'll lay eggs this year. Even if they do, they don't lay many during their first egg laying year(s).



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Old 3rd January 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: C. e. popei aquatic/terrestrial

The male is the biggest and a bit bigger than a large pet trade female orientalis. Female is a tad smaller. I'll measure em all and post update photos soon.

Has anyone done any studies as to why they go terrestrial in the wild? It seems default that, at least as adults, they are aquatic and something must be done to convince them to go terrestrial(just as juveniles by default tend to be terrestrial and must be coaxed into the water). I'm guessing its somewhere in the beginnings of neoteny and populations skipping the eft stage.



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