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Desmognathus fuscus/conanti

This is a discussion on Desmognathus fuscus/conanti within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; After a couple of months of trail and error I think Iíve created a set-up that fits the bill for ...

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 20th May 2006   #1 (permalink)
mark
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After a couple of months of trail and error I think Iíve created a set-up that fits the bill for Desmognathus fuscus/conanti. Their first set-up had hides of both cork and slate with varying depths of water from 1cm through to completely dry. Their preference was for the rock and a water depth of ~ 1-2mm although the suitability of the hide primarily relies on how snug it is, the smaller the gap the better. Hides that had more than 1cm of height were rejected in preference for tighter gaps. Aquatic hides are also used where the animal can safely stick itís head out of the water without being too exposed. Essentially they have a preference for tight, wet spaces which offer the smallest amount of exposure. This set-up is made up entirely of slate piled up and gives them a large area of hides.
Click the image to open in full size.
The water at the front of the tank is about 2 inches deep. Iíve occasionally seen them in the water at night but they tend to prowl around the shore line. I started off with a powerhead that created a stream effect over the rocks but the heat it generated was too great, so Iíve replaced it with a long air stone bubbler which creates water movement and splashes the rocks to keep them wet.
I havenít seen any territorial behaviour but have witnessed squabbles over food. When they find a preferred hide they tend to jam themselves in like sardines and are tolerant of each other.
Click the image to open in full size.
They are good feeders and despite being wild caught already accept food offered in tweezers.
Does anyone have pictures of desmog set-ups they wish to share? Iíd be interested to hear others experiences with this species. Any captive breeding success?



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Old 21st May 2006   #2 (permalink)
william
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I like the set-up Mark! I might use something similar myself. currently mine are in bark and moss with a water reservoir.



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Old 22nd May 2006   #3 (permalink)
chris
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I hiding habits, these seem very similar to my Hynobius (I know, unrelated apart from their both being caudates...). I use those insulation/decorative bricks you can get - the ones with the holes cut into them. These are half submerged in water and topped in moss, so that you get sort of apartment blocks ranging from below the water line all the way up to pretty dry. Thesalamanders never have to stick moore than their head out unless they are at the botoom of the water area, and the moss provides some screening fromthe front.

The pic below is extremely terrible, and the setup has changed since it was taken, but you can see the bricks I mean (white arrows where the holes are visible). This type of brick surrounds the hole water area, the rest consists of broken pottery and bits of other things, all covered with moss.
Chris

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Old 22nd May 2006   #4 (permalink)
william
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ahh did you get some from the recent shipment too?



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Old 22nd May 2006   #5 (permalink)
mark
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I think Chris is showing us his H.dunni set-up as a comparison, Will. I've seen a few members using those bricks, I may have to get myself some. Do they sell them at B&Q?

When they move they are quite eel like in appearance and can squeeze themselves into the tightest gaps in rocks.
Click the image to open in full size.



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