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Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

This is a discussion on Xanthic E. cirrigera larva? within the Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; Hello all! I caught this little guy/gal earlier this morning in one of my study streams. It is an Eurycea ...

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 26th July 2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

Hello all!

I caught this little guy/gal earlier this morning in one of my study streams. It is an Eurycea cirrigera (southern two-lined salamander), and I'm wondering if there is a general term for this unusual color morph? The specimen, which is being raised in the lab, has xanthophores and iridiophores on its body, but no melanophores, except for those in the stripe within its irises. Ideas? I looked at the Axolotl page, and by the definitions there it might be a xanthic albino? But the melanin in its iris makes me doubt that.
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Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?-edited-maybe-xanthic-26_04-watermark.jpg  



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Old 31st July 2012   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

That is an odd looking thing...

Albinos have the pink eyes though. Maybe a xanthic/ leucistic mix? Or maybe the colors will come in with age.

Still an awesome find!



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Old 3rd August 2012   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

But do albino larva this small (the black tick marks represent centimeters) have obviously pink eyes? Searching for albinos, leucistics, and xanthics on Caudata.org results in a lot of Axolotl posts.

I'm raising it in the lab, so I'll be able to monitor how its color changes through time.

Anyone have tips on photographing very pale larvae?



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Old 6th August 2012   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

Very cool find. Cheers.

Aneides



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Old 6th August 2012   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

Leucistic animals have normal melanin, but a mutation that prevents the melanin from migrating, so only the eyes have pigment. That seems to fit this one perhaps; do normal animals of this species have solid black eyes, or do they have pigment in the same parts of the eye that this one does? Aside from the missing melanin, the remaining pigment may be normal for this species (not necessarily xanthic).

For photography, it helps to have a small clear container (I use display cubes from an office product store) and hold it against a medium-color background (not black or white).



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Old 6th August 2012   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

E. cirrigera do have a black stripe through the eye like this one, but this individuals seems weak.

Lamb, does your lab have a dissecting microscope? That would allow for some really good shots, especially if it is hooked up digitally.



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Old 10th August 2012   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

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Originally Posted by jaster View Post
E. cirrigera do have a black stripe through the eye like this one, but this individuals seems weak.

Lamb, does your lab have a dissecting microscope? That would allow for some really good shots, especially if it is hooked up digitally.
Yup, we just got a good dissecting scope with a camera. But the camera and the computer aren't communicating well (the computer's live feed wont focus). I'm working on fixing that. Once I do, I'll get some good photos.

The arrangement of the yellow/orange is similar to how the yellow/gold color is distributed in normal larvae. Leucistic individuals have black pupils but this guy doesn't. I thought that all that "xanthic" meant was that the individuals were capable of producing yellow pigments, but not others.



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Old 12th August 2012   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

I managed to get the camera on the scope to focus. I think it was just a user error

Here are a few photos. They look very yellow on the computer I'm currently using, but I didn't play with the settings (no editing except to shrink them). The individual is yellowish in life, though. You can clearly see the eyes here, and I've included a shot of the pelvic region so you can see the mottling. After looking at these up close and on a bigger monitor, I realized that the lighter areas (i.e., around the jaw line, and mottling on the side of the tail) are about where I would expect to see melanin in a normally pigmented individual.
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Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?-odd-e.cirr-head-2.jpg   Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?-odd-e.cirr-head.jpg   Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?-odd-e.cirr-body.jpg  




Last edited by Lamb; 12th August 2012 at 04:48. Reason: Added more info
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Old 12th August 2012   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

Thanks for posting your find and showing us this really interesting individual. Would it be possible to post a photo of a normal coloured youngster next to this one? I'm guessing some kind of albino but beyond that I'm not sure.


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Old 12th August 2012   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

Here is a figure that depicts the range of color patterns you see in normal type individuals of E. cirrigera, along with a photo of the oddball.
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Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?-normal-xanthic-e.-cirrigera-larvae-654x1024-.jpg  



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Old 12th August 2012   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xanthic E. cirrigera larva?

It seems to me like a form of severe hypomelanism. The iridophores are clearly present, as are the xanthophores, but the only melanin seems to be in the eyes. If it were leucistic i would have expected a more normal eye coloration, but its clearly lacking in pigmentation.



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