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Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

This is a discussion on Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus) within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Redbacked salamanders (p. cinereus) are some of the most common salamanders. Redbacks have two typical variations "red back" phase and ...

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 10th April 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

Redbacked salamanders (p. cinereus) are some of the most common salamanders. Redbacks have two typical variations "red back" phase and "leadback" phase, but they can be highly variable. Here are some variations I have come across.
If anyone has come across any other variations please add to the thread.
Normal "redback" and "leadback"
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Typical redback phase with more red on it's sides:
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typical red back phase with a leadback phased tail:
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Three variations found together:
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Old 10th April 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

I love these little buggers in fact im trying to get some more since I only have one
Can you tell me how you found these in nature? Under what, witch average depth of soil etc... Also what was the temperature in the moment... :) Aprecciate :)

Cheers



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Old 17th April 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

I find TONS of these guys all the time. Usually only in higher elevations though for some reason. Now that I think of it. I usually find them in pairs under generally flat stones and rotting logs. They don't usually flee but can be quick.

I've only ever encountered them in heavily wooded areas though.

Good luck on your search!



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Old 9th May 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

I found a weird color phase of the Southern redback (P.serratus) while in Tennesee.
[IMG]http://img696.**************/img696/6678/southernredback.jpg[/IMG]



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Old 9th May 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

Zach, your photo links don't work. See
http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1-gene...-pictures.html



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Old 9th May 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

I was out herping in west Michigan last week and found 2 leadbacks that were quite similar to to the 4th pic down, with the gold sheen. Didn't get any pics, left my camera home (d'oh!). But very pretty!



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Old 9th May 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

These often appear in petshops over this side for about 9-15euro (13-22 USD). But all I've seen for sale and the one I purchased are the typical with red in top and some type of dark in sides and tails... Never seen such these abnormal golden, black, grey morphs... So I'd like to know how often these are seen. How many 'normal' ones you find till you get to see one of these? Are they scarce or quite common?
Thanks in advance,
Jorge



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Old 9th May 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

I think variations in redbacks is quite common. I'd say I find about 60% typical coloration, and 40% 'alternative' colors.

There is some research that supports the fact that different color phases are more adapted to more dry/warm climates than redbacks themselves.



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Old 9th May 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

wow! Really interesting Kaysie! Thanks for sharing that info



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Old 9th May 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

Heres that southen I found. I usually find 50-50 for redback vs leadback.
http://**************/photo/my-image...rnredback.jpg/



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Old 9th May 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

Zach, we do not allow image hosting from the host you're using. Please upload your pictures directly to the site, or use a different image host.



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Old 11th May 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

Sorry about that, here it is.
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Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)-southern-redback-salamander.jpg  



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Old 16th May 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Variation in redback salamanders (P. cinereus)

Nice pictures! I collect over 100 red-backs at a time as part of a research project. I would say we maybe get 80-20 of red-back to lead-back quantities, but definitely with tons of variation in there as well. From the few times salamanders have autotomized their tails in the lab, I think that the red-back body/lead-back tail may have resulted from tail loss earlier in life. I've only had red-backs losing their tail and it has always grown back with the 'lead' colouration in my experience!



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