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Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

This is a discussion on Ambystoma maculatum losing spots? within the Mole Salamanders but not tigers or axolotls (Ambystomatids) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; One of my spotted sals is very dark and has only faint spots. I wasn't concerned until I saw a ...

Mole Salamanders but not tigers or axolotls (Ambystomatids) These large-mouthed, burrowing salamanders are indigenous to Central and North America.

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Old 4th March 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

One of my spotted sals is very dark and has only faint spots. I wasn't concerned until I saw a picture of her from before I owned her. The first picture is from the day I got her (they're on more suitable substrate now... previous owner kept them in a small plastic box with some decorative stones) and the second one is from before they were mine (they also don't eat mealworms anymore). She's also pretty thin compared to her tankmate but at least appears to be putting on weight. Should I be concerned? Could this be related to some sort of nutritional deficiency/husbandry issue or is it just genetic? They were very picky and sluggish when I first got them but have since improved their appetite.



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Old 4th March 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

mealworms are not the best thing to feed I would suggest you feed earthworms they are much better for them



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Old 5th March 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

Didn't post pictures, sorry!
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Old 5th March 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

I think it could be due to what your feeding it as well, and your set-up from the photos does not look acceptable, as A.maculatum are a burrowing species, and can't when there's no soil for them to do so



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Old 5th March 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

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Originally Posted by Sith the turtle View Post
I think it could be due to what your feeding it as well, and your set-up from the photos does not look acceptable, as A.maculatum are a burrowing species, and can't when there's no soil for them to do so
The first post says thats how the previous owner was keeping them, and that it is now on a proper substrate.



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Old 5th March 2016   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

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Originally Posted by Sith the turtle View Post
I think it could be due to what your feeding it as well, and your set-up from the photos does not look acceptable, as A.maculatum are a burrowing species, and can't when there's no soil for them to do so
In my first post, I stated that heir previous owner kept them on rocks with some sphagnum moss. They're been on cocofiber/topsoil for about two months now.



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Old 5th March 2016   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

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Originally Posted by alexps View Post
mealworms are not the best thing to feed I would suggest you feed earthworms they are much better for them
In my first post, I stated that their previous owner fed them mealworms and that they are no longer eating them. I feed them nightcrawler pieces and red wigglers.



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Old 5th March 2016   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

Photo from last week in their current setup. In my first post, I used the photo from the day their previous owner gave them to me because they were both in it and it showed their patterns best.
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Old 5th March 2016   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

I believe yellow spots in salamanders are often linked to beta-carotene, which can be given to salamanders by feeding it to prey items. It's found in orange vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.



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Old 6th March 2016   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

Okay great. Their set-up looks fine, you're doing great, no idea why its color is fading. What are its temperatures?



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Old 6th March 2016   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

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Originally Posted by schmiggle View Post
I believe yellow spots in salamanders are often linked to beta-carotene, which can be given to salamanders by feeding it to prey items. It's found in orange vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc.
This is certainly true for some species like Cynops or Notopthalmus for example, but species like Tylototriton and Pleurodeles seem to produce their own orange/red pigment.
I don't know where Ambystoma fall in relation to this though, I will try and look it up.



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Old 7th March 2016   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

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Originally Posted by Chinadog View Post
This is certainly true for some species like Cynops or Notopthalmus for example, but species like Tylototriton and Pleurodeles seem to produce their own orange/red pigment.
I don't know where Ambystoma fall in relation to this though, I will try and look it up.
That would be great, thanks!
From what I've read today, it isn't known whether amphibians can convert beta carotene to Vitamin A. And a Vitamin A deficiency would likely be the cause of the pigment loss, right? I think I'm going to start (or at least try... these little guys are much pickier than my tiger salamanders) dusting with Herpevite... Is there any risk for toxicity there? Does anyone know how often I should dust or if that's even a good idea?



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Old 7th March 2016   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma maculatum losing spots?

Herptivite uses Beta carotene, so you don't really save anything there (though that does make it non-toxic).

Rep-Cal Supplements

I would guess that if you use feeders that can convert beta carotene into vitamin a, you'd be all set.

Also, this thread might be helpful:

Vitamin A vs. Beta Carotene



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