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Bolitoglossa dofleini keeping requirements

This is a discussion on Bolitoglossa dofleini keeping requirements within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hi all! I'm Emanuele Biggi from Italy. I normally keep Anura like Phyllomedusa and so on, but I recently bought ...

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 19th September 2005   #1 (permalink)
emanuele
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Hi all! I'm Emanuele Biggi from Italy. I normally keep Anura like Phyllomedusa and so on, but I recently bought (finally!) a five-specimens group of Bolitoglossa dofleini (perhaps two females and three males). I read in an old post they require drier soil than that for other lungless salamanders. But how dry? And, in all the tank? Should I put a more humid side in the terrarium with wetter soil or something?
The terrarium is 83x55x180(high) cm (sorry, I'm not friendly with inches).
Have you any good advice for the keeping of these beautiful salamanders?
Best regards
Emanuele
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Old 19th September 2005   #2 (permalink)
william
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all i can say is good luck! they are notoriously difficult to keep, most people don't keep them over 6 months i think.



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Old 19th September 2005   #3 (permalink)
emanuele
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Yes I know... I'll try to keep them drier than other and I'm planning 10 days bath to avoid chytrid fungus problems.
Are there any other problems correlated to these salamanders?
bye
Ema



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Old 19th September 2005   #4 (permalink)
edward
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they do best with a substrate that is dry to the touch with a relative humidity of about 90% and higher.
One of the other items to watch with this species is that they are often imported with little to no fat reserves and can die from being overfed.
Very small meals daily for at least two weeks are in order for this species.

Ed



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Old 19th September 2005   #5 (permalink)
emanuele
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Thank you all guys! I have five specimens, but only two of them are a little poor in fat reserves... I'll pay attention to not overfeed them.
So you'd counsel the use of an air humidifier, right?
Bye
Ema



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Old 19th September 2005   #6 (permalink)
emanuele
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Another thing, I used sphagnum-derived soil, is this a problem? If yes, which kind of substrate is the best for these salamanders.
Best regards
Ema



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Old 19th September 2005   #7 (permalink)
edward
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Visual detection of fat pads in this species is very difficult/impossible due to the black skin color. In my experience and from examination on necropsy, animals that looked robust were still lacking in fat pads.

If you can use a humidifier to keep the humidity up without causing the entire cage to become too wet then, yes. I stacked cork bark in layers and would spray the exterior layers of cork to bring up the humidity while allowing them to have totally dry refugia.
I would suggest not using the sphagnum moss (or peat moss) as most plethodontids (with some exceptions) avoid acidic substrates and long-term contact causes ion loss, stress and potentially death.

Ed



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Old 19th September 2005   #8 (permalink)
emanuele
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And... which kind of substrate you would suggest? Big-sized aquarium gravel? Clay soil? If you have any suggestion, it will be very welcome. Normally I keep tree frogs and I don't use any substrate for them...
Best regards
Ema

(Message edited by emanuele on September 19, 2005)



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Old 19th September 2005   #9 (permalink)
edward
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I tend to favor fine milled cypress mulch. (I do not know if it is available in Europe) but any neutral substrate should work well.

If you keep tree frogs I would be very very paranoid about introducing chytrid into the collection......

Ed



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Old 20th September 2005   #10 (permalink)
emanuele
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Ok! I talked with my veterinarian friend and he found this product (just released): intrafungol
It's yes a solution for oral use (so it doesn't contains any damaging agent). The bath is 0,01% of intrafungol in 1 L of 0,6% salt water (0,01 ml of intrafungol in 1 L of 0,6% salt water) . The bath must last 5 minutes per day for 10 days. It's all! I'll let you know what this schedule will produce...
The specimens seems very well anyway (they come from Honduras), just one is skinnier and it seems not eating. They don't show any of the symptoms like leg up-stretching and so on.
I really hope they'll be well.
Thank you for all again

(Message edited by emanuele on September 20, 2005)



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Old 20th September 2005   #11 (permalink)
edward
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Hi,
While I suspect that the treatment may be successful, the only confirmed treatment that are known to work on chytrid is itraconazole
see http://www.open.ac.uk/daptf/froglog/FROGLOG-46-1.html for dosing and success rate.

Ed



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Old 20th September 2005   #12 (permalink)
emanuele
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Yes! Sorry, I missed to say that intrafungol is a itraconazole solution! (and it's not powdered, so it's very easy to mix to water).
It's the same thing you suggested me!
Sorry for the misunderstanding!
Ema

(Message edited by emanuele on September 20, 2005)



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Old 20th September 2005   #13 (permalink)
edward
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Ahh, that makes it a lot clearer.

But I cannot stress enough how careful you need to be to not cross infect as infection can kill the frogs in a matter of days.

Ed



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Old 21st September 2005   #14 (permalink)
emanuele
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Yes I well know this damned fungus. When I work with Bombina in the field i always have to wash all my things and I always leave them away from the frogs room to avoid spreading the fungus in the Italian populations of frogs.
I'm an herpetologist so I'm quite informed about this problem. I have a colleague who works sometimes in rain forests and he said me a lot of species of Atelopus and other frogs are extincted for this fungus.
The problem is that this fungus is normally present in many substrates, the difficult thing is to know why the Amphibians seems to suffer of it in the last decades...
Bye
Ema



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