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-   Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) (http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-advanced-newt-salamander-topics/f30-species-genus-family-discussions/f42-plethodontids-lungless-salamanders-bolitoglossa-eurycea-plethodon-etc/)
-   -   Where are all the plethodontid keepers? (http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-advanced-newt-salamander-topics/f30-species-genus-family-discussions/f42-plethodontids-lungless-salamanders-bolitoglossa-eurycea-plethodon-etc/73589-where-all-plethodontid-keepers.html)

ozarkhellbender 27th January 2011 06:36

Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
It seems to me that plethodontid keepers are few and far between. I find this slightly ironic considering that Plethodontidae is the largest and most diverse family of salamanders. So why do we see so few captive plethodontids?

Logan 27th January 2011 15:23

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
If It helps I use to keep 3 types of plethodon when I was younger and someday soon plan to start a plethodon dorsalis breeding project.

Molch 27th January 2011 20:04

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I'm guessing because of

1 )their very hidden lifestyle
2) the fact that they are not as easily bred in captivity as other salamander families

ozarkhellbender 28th January 2011 15:13

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Logan: That's cool! I wish you good luck with your Plethodon dorsalis breeding project!

Molch: That's pretty much what I suspected.

I would like to try my hand at breeding some of the more common species. Right now I'm not keeping any Plethodontid species, but this spring I'd like to collect a few. When I was a kid, I used to go out into the woods around my house and collect Plethodon albagula. I'd turn over a long and there would be 2-3 big healthy P. albagula. I'd take them back to my house and keep them for about a week, then let them go. Recently, I kept Eurycea lucifuga for a short period of time, I found out they are great escape artists.

Molch 28th January 2011 20:13

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I hope you succeed. I find plethodonts fascinating and beautiful. My first glimpse of them was on my first visit to the US when I was 17. I got away from my group in Kentucky and slipped into a creek bottom to turn over rocks, and voila - a long-tailed salamander; might have been P. longicauda or close relative. I remember being completely surprised at how quick and nimble they were - like lizards. Very unlike the European sals I was used to.

ozarkhellbender 28th January 2011 21:19

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I hope so too. I read the thread with the paper about mass-rearing plethodontid eggs and I've been working on an idea for adapting a technique for mass-rearing sturgeon eggs that they used at the fish hatchery I worked at. They had these large acrylic cylinders with a pipe in the center. Water was forced down the pipe and up through the bottom of the cylinder so you have this constant current that gently rolled the eggs, keeping them oxygenated and free of fungus. But that's getting into another topic. I'd have to say that Plethodontids are my favorite caudates as well, especially members of the genus Eurycea, Bolitoglossa, and Pseudoeurycea.

firedreams 29th January 2011 02:46

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
My fiance and I keep a pair of P. Cinereus - who are both wonderful and outgoing! Our female appears to be gravid and we are hoping for eggs!

FrogEyes 29th January 2011 04:31

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Biggest reason? Familiarity breeds contempt. Everyone in this thread so far is North American, and exotic foreign species are inherintly more interesting to the average person. Many are also protected in at least part of their range. In combination, that means that very few enter the pet trade, so they don't get much chance to develop a following. Those of us keen enough to seek them out have to snap up the few species which do enter the trade, or go out and catch them ourselves. Given the small ranges [and the fact I'm in the plethodontid gap], catching them ourselves is often inconvenient at best.

I've worked with over a dozen plethodontids over the years, but currently have only P.chattahoochee and P.idahoensis.

ozarkhellbender 29th January 2011 05:30

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrogEyes (Post 265982)
Biggest reason? Familiarity breeds contempt. Everyone in this thread so far is North American, and exotic foreign species are inherintly more interesting to the average person. Many are also protected in at least part of their range. In combination, that means that very few enter the pet trade, so they don't get much chance to develop a following. Those of us keen enough to seek them out have to snap up the few species which do enter the trade, or go out and catch them ourselves. Given the small ranges [and the fact I'm in the plethodontid gap], catching them ourselves is often inconvenient at best.

I've worked with over a dozen plethodontids over the years, but currently have only P.chattahoochee and P.idahoensis.

I don't know if I'd say that familiarity is the biggest reason as Tiger salamanders and other North American ambystomids are much more common in the pet trade, the wild, and this forum. Just look at the Axolotl. Same thing with Notophthalmus species, very common North American species that are often kept by caudate enthusiasts. I think you had it in the second part about catching them being an inconvenience, dealers don't want to take the time and effort to find them.

Also, congratulations on the Plethodon chattahoochee and Plethodon idahoensis!!

Greatwtehunter 29th January 2011 06:20

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
It is all about availability. Most people won't keep things that they can't easily purchase online or in a store. I can bet that almost everyone (myself included) that is keeping pleths had to go out and catch their own.

Molch 29th January 2011 06:47

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrogEyes (Post 265982)
Biggest reason? Familiarity breeds contempt.

oh, I don't know. It may be just the opposite for some of us. When I decided to add another species, I went for the one I was most familiar with, and that's alpine newts.

ozarkhellbender 29th January 2011 07:38

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greatwtehunter (Post 266000)
It is all about availability. Most people won't keep things that they can't easily purchase online or in a store. I can bet that almost everyone (myself included) that is keeping pleths had to go out and catch their own.

Same here, I occasionally see plethodontids for sale on Kingsnake.com, but that's pretty rare. The Eurycea lucifuga I had I rescued from the hatchery I worked at. I found the little guy hiding from trout in one of the tanks. He was brought in with the spring water that feeds the hatchery.

taherman 30th January 2011 17:13

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Some species make amazingly interesting, very long lived, and not very secretive captives. I've kept 21 species between the zoo and my home collections, and for me they are way more interesting than any Ambystoma or newt I've kept. I'd have to say the number one reason they aren't very popular as captives is that there is not money to be made selling them in the U.S. Laws preclude many native species from interstate commerce and wholesale trade in them, and few people care enough about the species to actually learn where they live, go there, and legally collect them. On top of this, many are not robust enough to survive the physical abuse of commercial exploitation or newbie keepers so those that do end up making it to the pet trade end up dying.

With proper care many of these species will thrive and breed readily. If a fraction of the effort that people put into dart frogs was directed towards plethodontids they would be thriving in captive collections. However the little thumbnail frogs which are every bit, if not more delicate and secretive can be sold for $300 and up, while collection of many of the most colorful or interesting plethodontids is prohibited for commercial exploitation.

That being said, just like dart frogs and many other U.S. herps, there is a huge market for them in Europe once they are smuggled (or legally exported?) beyond the reach of their native country's laws.

Azhael 30th January 2011 17:51

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Very true, there seems to be a wave of american caudates being imported to europe recently. I ignore the legal status of those importations but they include many species. I recently saw Desmognathus and Necturus for sale in an spanish online shop, very obviously WC. There is also an abundance of ambystomatids, plethodontids and Notophthalmus around. It doesnt really work well, i must say. They tend to suffer the same fate as asian caudates, being kept in bad conditions, being purchased by impulse in most cases and having trouble, generally speaking, adapting to captivity.

I agree about the grass being greener and all that, but im with Molch, many of the species i like the most are those im most familiar with (thats why im a Lissotriton helveticus nut, which very few people seem to care about xD).

I find plethodontids to be fascinating and lots of fun since it is such a varied family. I really hope we see more captive breeding in the future :D

ozarkhellbender 31st January 2011 00:52

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Ah Tim, I was hoping you'd get in here on this since Toledo Zoo is officially the Plethodontid breeding center of the world :D!! I'm curious as to what species that 21 includes. I am hoping to really get going into Plethodontids, and I'd love to start breeding them.

Azhael, I think it's interesting you mentioned Desmognathus and Necturus because I see both of those popping up in the American trade lately as well. I've seen one company offering WC Eurycea bislineata and some unknown WC species of slimy salamander. When I see North American Plethodontids for sale online, they go for very low prices, usually in the $6-$10 range.

taherman 31st January 2011 03:06

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Sorry, miscounted in my head. 20+1 subspecies. Bred 7 and had eggs from an 8th which I am very very bitter about losing this year.

Aneides aeneus
Aneides flavipunctatus (niger)
Aneides lugubris
Bolitoglossa conanti
Bolitoglossa rufescens
Desmognathus aeneus
Desmognathus monticola
Desmognathus welteri
Ensatina eschscholtzii
Eurycea bislineata
Eurycea longicauda
Eurycea lucifuga
Eurycea wilderae
Gyrinophilus p. porphyriticus
Gyrinophilus p. duryi
Hemidactylium scutatum
Plethodon glutinosus
Plethodon petraeus
Plethodon yonahlossee
Pseudotriton montanus diastictus
Pseudotriton r. ruber

ozarkhellbender 31st January 2011 03:18

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by taherman (Post 266260)
Sorry, miscounted in my head. 20+1 subspecies. Bred 7 and had eggs from an 8th which I am very very bitter about losing this year.

Aneides aeneus
Aneides flavipunctatus (niger)
Aneides lugubris
Bolitoglossa conanti
Bolitoglossa rufescens
Desmognathus aeneus
Desmognathus monticola
Desmognathus welteri
Ensatina eschscholtzii
Eurycea bislineata
Eurycea longicauda
Eurycea lucifuga
Eurycea wilderae
Gyrinophilus p. porphyriticus
Gyrinophilus p. duryi
Hemidactylium scutatum
Plethodon glutinosus
Plethodon petraeus
Plethodon yonahlossee
Pseudotriton montanus diastictus
Pseudotriton r. ruber

Wow, that's amazing! I am especially envious of the Bolitoglossa species. Are those both at the zoo or from your private collection?

taherman 31st January 2011 15:03

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
The Bolitoglossa are at the zoo.

ozarkhellbender 31st January 2011 15:54

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Ah, I see, so you have to share them :rolleyes:. Bolitoglossa are my absolute favorite caudates. I wish we had a healthy established captive population here in the United States. They are at the top of my "If I ever got the chance." list.

jaster 2nd February 2011 13:11

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Until recently, I have only been interested in Plethodontid species but my new T marms have shifted that view a bit. I don't have many right now but have kept a few over time. They are just my favorite salamanders, mainly because no matter where I go (around here) I can find around 9 species....

John 12th April 2011 18:33

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
This thread seems well worth reviving. Tim, as one of those small dart frog breeders :), I must apologise. However, I don't do it for the money, thankfully.

Back on topic though, I'm very curious about your list of 21 in so far as how you would rank them in terms of (a) outgoing/tameness and (b) interest level. I recognise that those two traits are not often associated, so two lists are probably in order please :).

sirus14 12th April 2011 21:49

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I keep

Plethodon kentucki
Eurycea lucifuga
Eurycea longicuda
Pseudotriton ruber
Aneides aeneaus

I love the lungless salamanders

taherman 16th April 2011 14:22

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John (Post 278227)
Back on topic though, I'm very curious about your list of 21 in so far as how you would rank them in terms of (a) outgoing/tameness and (b) interest level. I recognise that those two traits are not often associated, so two lists are probably in order please :).

What do you mean by interest level? How interested I am in them? Or how interesting in general that I might rank their behavior?

John 16th April 2011 15:38

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
In terms of behavior :).

John 6th June 2011 22:02

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I am now a Plethodontid keeper.

ozarkhellbender 7th June 2011 02:58

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John (Post 286088)
I am now a Plethodontid keeper.

What species are you now the proud owner of?

John 7th June 2011 03:54

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ozarkhellbender (Post 286152)
What species are you now the proud owner of?

I have a 3 Plethodon yonahlossee. They are ferocious and take food from forceps.

ozarkhellbender 7th June 2011 04:04

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John (Post 286159)
I have a 3 Plethodon yonahlossee. They are ferocious and take food from forceps.

Awesome!! I'll be getting some "Yoshies" soon also. Congratulations on the new captives!!

peter5930 18th July 2011 08:47

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I keep Aneides lugubris and Pseudotriton r. ruber.

Scotland is rather impoverished species-wise, being at the northern end of an island that was only briefly connected to mainland Europe after the ice sheet receded at the end of the last glaciation, so American and continental European species are equally exotic and appealing to me.

Devalight 18th July 2011 11:54

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I have a dusky salamander (desmognathus fuscus) but rather regret getting it because I just learned I need completely different conditions to keep it in (see Newt and Salamander help forum). It is not doing well though, so will have to purchase a new tank, a pump, rocks (not any suitable here to just pick up). Wish there was more information out there on these species so I could have really known what their requirements were.

eljorgo 18th July 2011 19:47

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I am also a big lover of the huge family. Mostly of the north American species. Sadly they are rarely represented in this side of the big Atlantic pond.. And all we got it Wild caught I'm with Plethodon cinereus, Plethodon cylindraceus, Plethodon cf. richmondi and Desmognathus fuscus.
Have kept before the Batrachoseps atenuattus. These are the most common and cheaper.
They go for about 14-20euro each (19 to 28 USD) there is more offer of these, eventually also appear Eurycea longicauda, lucifuga and Pseudotriton r. ruber but those go for 75 to 120euro each (105 to 170USD) not to mention its ALL WC... so keeping a good collection of Plethodontidae animals in this far side is for the Rich citizen and im not one of them lol. So yeah I'm considering going to live to USA hahaha:proud:
Cheers,

peter5930 19th July 2011 12:53

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
My Aneides lugubris were CB in the UK, and although I don't know the precise back-story to the Pseudotriton r. ruber, they came from a UK keeper rather than being straight from the wild, and I know of a UK business that's started breeding them.

Hopefully I'll be able to breed my plethodontids eventually and add to the supply of CB animals.

heavysleaze 30th September 2011 05:17

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I keep the following:
Desmognathus monticola
Desmognathus carolinensis
Plethodon jordani or metcalfi
Plethodon cylindraceus
Pseudotriton ruber schenki


I'm a big fan of these guys.

ozarkhellbender 15th November 2011 09:21

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I thought it was time to revive my thread.

As of right now, I have the following Plethodontids:

Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga)
Long-tailed Salamander (Eurycea longicauda longicauda)
Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata)
Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber)

I've now had experience keeping Salamandrids, Ambystomids, and Plethodontids. I've got to say, Plethodontids are my favorites by far!

MattM 19th December 2011 03:19

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I hope to get into keeping these guys soon. They are pretty neat.

Devalight 23rd December 2011 13:15

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Devalight (Post 293249)
I have a dusky salamander (desmognathus fuscus) but rather regret getting it because I just learned I need completely different conditions to keep it in (see Newt and Salamander help forum). It is not doing well though, so will have to purchase a new tank, a pump, rocks (not any suitable here to just pick up). Wish there was more information out there on these species so I could have really known what their requirements were.


Updated: My dusky is doing so much better it its half water/half land setup. It hides most of the time but it came out yesterday to hunt crickets. Looking much better, very alert, cool looking salamander!

I wonder if more than one can be kept in a 20 gallon tank?

Yahilles 23rd December 2011 16:35

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
I'm now a plethodontid keeper, too. I recently acquired 3 CB Desmognathus orestes.

fishkeeper 31st December 2011 21:48

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
One of my main reasons for not attempting them is they are supposedly very sensitive to higher temperatures. The salamandrids I keep were all selected due to hardiness, and I can rest assured they won't keel over even when temps get above the mid 70's. Plethodontids look delicate.

I'd be interested in hearing what species are particularly outgoing and interesting, as well.

I briefly kept a WC Batrachoseps attenuatus. Very neat in the way they capture prey. They simply do not miss!

ozarkhellbender 31st December 2011 22:12

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fishkeeper (Post 319395)
One of my main reasons for not attempting them is they are supposedly very sensitive to higher temperatures. The salamandrids I keep were all selected due to hardiness, and I can rest assured they won't keel over even when temps get above the mid 70's. Plethodontids look delicate.

I'd be interested in hearing what species are particularly outgoing and interesting, as well.

I briefly kept a WC Batrachoseps attenuatus. Very neat in the way they capture prey. They simply do not miss!

It depends on the species. Some species don't really become active until it stays above the mid 70's. From personal experience, I've found that Pseudotriton ruber is much more heat-tolerant that most people believe. Plethodontids are a huge and varied group.

As far as outgoing, Eurycea lucifuga is very outgoing and Pseudotriton ruber is when kept in an aquatic setup, although it is not necessary to keep them in an aquatic setup.

I've been wanting to acquire some Batrachoseps. I'd just like to try any western Plethodontid, especially the Ensatina eschscholtzii ssp.

Greatwtehunter 2nd January 2012 05:42

Re: Where are all the plethodontid keepers?
 
Like Thomas said, heat tolerance depends on the species. For example; E. guttolineata, E. longicauda, P. glutinosus (slimies) complex, some members of the P. jordani complex, and even E. lucifuga to an extent can tolerate mid 70's just fine. During the summer herping season, the species that I mentioned make up the majority of what I find when searching for woodland salamanders. Heck, I don't really start finding them till temps stay above 72-74'f.


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