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Captive plethodontids in Britain

This is a discussion on Captive plethodontids in Britain within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I have been interested in this rather amazing group of caudates for a while now, and would quite like to ...

Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) The largest, and one of the most diverse groups of salamanders, these salamanders have all evolved to breathe solely through their skin and are found almost exclusively in North America.


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Old 4th February 2007   #1 (permalink)
samuel
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I have been interested in this rather amazing group of caudates for a while now, and would quite like to get a hold of some (i am thinking Plethodon cinereus as i am very taken by their behavioural and physiological adaptions to a solely terrestrial life-i find their parental care and reproductive mechanisms very interesting)
These seem like the most available pleth. in the UK, but i would like to know what else is out there before i choose my next species - i saw some three lined's available a few months ago, and these seemed to be another interesting species.
Can any UK pleth. keepers help?

I am particulary interested in Ensatina species-these are gorgeous creatures...

(Message edited by sam on February 04, 2007)



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Old 4th February 2007   #2 (permalink)
cameron
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Well I definately don't live in the UK but I have Plethodon glutinosus (Northern Slimy Salamander), Plethodon serratus (Southern Red Back Salamander), and instead of three lineds I have Southern Two-Lined Salamanders.

Southern Red Backs and Northern Red Backs are pretty similar.

Are you asking for help on how to house these critters ( I can help you there) or are you just asking where else they can be bought? (I can't help you there)



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Old 4th February 2007   #3 (permalink)
samuel
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Thanks for your reply Cameron, but i am more looking to find out how available these are. I have two sexed pairs of cinereus coming this friday-and have done plenty of research on them. This was more a "what is out there?" post than anything else.

Id still value any advice, hints and pictures you fancy throwing at me!!



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Old 4th February 2007   #4 (permalink)
cameron
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A few picks of the Southern Red Backs, Southern Two Lineds, and Northern Slimy Salamanders

Also the Southern Two-Lined Salamander Tank.


[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...m/DVC00555.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...m/DVC00561.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...m/DVC00409.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...lamanders7.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...DVC00366-1.jpg[/IMG]



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Old 4th February 2007   #5 (permalink)
cameron
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Check out my site: http://www.freewebs.com/slimysalamanders/



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Old 4th February 2007   #6 (permalink)
samuel
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Thanks cameron!



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Old 6th February 2007   #7 (permalink)
samuel
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Turns out I am getting two sexed pairs of these. Any further information/advice?



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Old 6th February 2007   #8 (permalink)
cameron
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Of what?



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Old 6th February 2007   #9 (permalink)
samuel
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Plethodon cinereus.



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Old 7th February 2007   #10 (permalink)
john
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Samuel

How were the pairs sexed? Cinereus is notorious for not expressing sexual dimorphism. The only semi-reliable way I've ever heard of is candling, the testes are supposedly fairly easy to see. I've tried it myself and had no luck but mainly because I wasn't patient enough to work out restraint methods. You should definitely ask how this was done.

Also, cinereus is very territorial. Larger specimens will definitely chase others and stress them extremely. I never managed to reliably house more than two together in a 10gal.

I'm also not sure if anyone has successfully captive bred this species.

They're interesting for sure, but I found E. bis much more interesting and easier to maintain. They're much bolder than cinereus and communal housing is no problem.



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Old 7th February 2007   #11 (permalink)
samuel
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I was told these were sexed by looking for nasolabial grooves with a magnifying glass, and that there was and obvious difference between the specemins. They are currently being kept in a 12" GeoViv together with little or no territorial activity between them-however when I recieve them they will be put into an enclosure over twice that size.
Thankyou for your advice and questions John-i was aware that they had a reputation for being territorial, however was persuaded otherwise by the person from which I am buying them. I will have a stand by tank at the ready incase of any bad behaviour.

(Message edited by sam on February 07, 2007)



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Old 7th February 2007   #12 (permalink)
cameron
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Yep, that is how you tell apart gender. The nasolabial groove. Also you can feel the males teeth.



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Old 7th February 2007   #13 (permalink)
cameron
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[IMG]http://i146.photobucket.com/albums/r...m/DVC00381.jpg[/IMG]



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Old 7th February 2007   #14 (permalink)
samuel
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Thanks for the affirmation Cameron! What do you think about the four in the one viv-considering they are adult and living well togetehr now? Will it only be an issue should food be scarce? I hear these reach high densities in the wild if food is readily available...
Also, how often do you feed your pleths? Im planning on using fruitflies as I am culturing a lot of these for my dendrobatid frogs



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Old 8th February 2007   #15 (permalink)
cameron
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Fruit flies work well. I feed my two-lineds termites, tubifex worms, earthworms, whiteworms and more.I literally just got finished feeding the two males the last of the tubifex worms that I dug up. I just use tweezers or my hands(I don't care how I feed them as long as it gets the job done)and put the the food right in front of the head so that it can readily smell, feel, see its food and then strikes. It works on land or in water. Feeding in water is cooler though. One of my females died a while back so now I have two males and one gravid female.

I feed the pleths as often as I can.I don't buy food. I dig it up and scavenge for it outside. Sometimes breeding tubifexs.

My Southern Redbacks are true escape artists so be sure to get a secure lid. They love to dig and make tunnels. I have dug them out of their tunnels in the ground that are over a foot deep. They like to attack prey that is large like tubifex worms and lick up small prey like termites with their tongues.



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Old 8th February 2007   #16 (permalink)
samuel
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Right-thanks! Termites are illegal here, but i have seeded the viv with springtails and have fruit flies galore. When you say as often as you can-does that mean feeding daily would be ok?



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Old 8th February 2007   #17 (permalink)
william
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if you still want to find out what is out there, i've seen, desmognathus, eurycea, plethodon, hemidactylum, bolitoglossa and pseudotriton offered in the past few years. I myself have kept eurycea cirrigera and desmognathus conanti, however the hot summer didn't agree with them Click the image to open in full size..



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Old 8th February 2007   #18 (permalink)
samuel
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Thanks william. Thankfully, being in Scotland makes hot summers only the mildest of threats-the room wont get hot enough to not be rectified by a good spraying.
Im rather fond of bolitoglossa-must keep my eye open



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Old 8th February 2007   #19 (permalink)
john
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All the peer reviewed papers I've ever read on cinereus that discuss sexing lead me to believe that most methods relying on visual sexual dimorphism are suspect mainly because they're only valid during breeding season.

Sam, please keep us updated on that because i'd definitely be interested in other methods that are reliable.



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Old 8th February 2007   #20 (permalink)
john
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Tried to find some of the papers I had read and now I can't so I've no sources... maybe i'm just remembering things wrong, that wouldn't be anything new! Click the image to open in full size.



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