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Cannibalistic axolotl

This is a discussion on Cannibalistic axolotl within the Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) forums, part of the Species, Genus & Family Discussions category; I have a melanoid axolotl that displayed cannibalistic behavior when it was younger and has a different shaped head and ...

Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) The Tiger Salamanders and the Axolotl are so popular amongst hobbyists that they have been given their own topic. If you're particularly interested in the Axolotl, there is a large section of the forum devoted mainly to beginner Axolotl enthusiasts (not this topic).

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Old 10th August 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cannibalistic axolotl

I have a melanoid axolotl that displayed cannibalistic behavior when it was younger and has a different shaped head and is an adept hunter of the baby guppies in its tank, would it be ok to feed it african clawed toad (xenopus laevis) tadpoles or froglets, i know they are from different continents and would not form part of its usual diet but im sure a wild axolotl wouldn't turn its nose up at a passing frog. Does anyone know of any inherent dangers if I follow this course of action? Are AFCs poisonous? I bred the frogs myself so they have effectively quarantined.
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Old 10th August 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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Originally Posted by xxianxx View Post
I have a melanoid axolotl that displayed cannibalistic behavior when it was younger and has a different shaped head and is an adept hunter of the baby guppies in its tank, would it be ok to feed it african clawed toad (xenopus laevis) tadpoles or froglets, i know they are from different continents and would not form part of its usual diet but im sure a wild axolotl wouldn't turn its nose up at a passing frog. Does anyone know of any inherent dangers if I follow this course of action? Are AFCs poisonous? I bred the frogs myself so they have effectively quarantined.

Ummm...why would you want to feed them a completely unnatural diet of a frogs from the other side of the world? I'd stick with earthworms or just buy some salmon pellets if you want something quick and easy to feed them. Why risk it? And furthermore, you could easily sell the xenopus or trade them to a pet store for more suitable food source.
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Old 11th August 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

No ACFs are not poisonous but it would not be a healthy or nutritional supplement to your axolotls diet. Neither are guppies.

Stick to earth worms - - axies love them.

If you are in the USA I can take some ACF off your hands at any point - - I am looking to increase my colony
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Old 11th August 2011   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

This axolotl has a changed physiology due to the fact that it cannibalised its siblings, its behaviour is also far more predatory than any other axolotl i have seen. If it was in the wild what would it eat? its changed physically so would it concentrate on larger prey items, such as other amphibians and small water mammals rather than invertebrates? As for feeding an axolotl a foreign diet, I doubt that many wild living axolotl eats pellets lol earthworms live on land and though they might get washed down into the water during heavy rainfall i doubt if they would constitute the main part of an axolotls diet, worms are fed to axolotls as apparently they constitute a complete meal, the worms i feed to mine are from the uk and probally different to the worms in Mexico anyway (someone please correct me if im wrong). So i will ask the question again, as my axolotl has changed its physiology would a change in diet to larger prey items including amphibians be beneficial for it? and are african clawed toads ok to an axolotl(dead)?
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Old 11th August 2011   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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Originally Posted by xxianxx View Post
I have a melanoid axolotl that displayed cannibalistic behavior when it was younger and has a different shaped head and is an adept hunter of the baby guppies in its tank, would it be ok to feed it african clawed toad (xenopus laevis) tadpoles or froglets, i know they are from different continents and would not form part of its usual diet but im sure a wild axolotl wouldn't turn its nose up at a passing frog. Does anyone know of any inherent dangers if I follow this course of action? Are AFCs poisonous? I bred the frogs myself so they have effectively quarantined.
I agree with the above post, also can you post some pictures of this odd head shape you describe?
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Old 11th August 2011   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

can you post some pictures of this odd head shape you describe?

I am planning to do so as soon as i get hold of a decent camera, the one on my phone is rubbish.
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Old 11th August 2011   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

I have read somewhere that axolotl that are/ where allowed to be cannibalistic will have a different head shape. Once I get my laptop back I will see if I can find the link for you.
I know of some people that do feed their axolotl tadpoles/ froglets , also they feed them the occasional pinkie as they have reptiles and any left overs get offered to the axolotl.
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Old 11th August 2011   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

You might get it as an offtopic, but i don't think that orientalis larvae got their heads broader after eating several baby axolotls...
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12th August 2011   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

There are cannibal morphs in other tiger salamander species and axolotls certainly show quite a variability of shape. As well as its head size how big is it?

Although it has changed shape the physiology will not be that different so I'd suggest sticking with earthworms but just give more. The main reason I'd avoid Xenopus is fear of chytrid which they often carry.

My artificially morphed axolotl is thriving on earthworms and terrestrial morphing is a more drastic change than the cannibal morph.
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Old 12th August 2011   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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Originally Posted by oceanblue View Post
There are cannibal morphs in other tiger salamander species and axolotls certainly show quite a variability of shape. As well as its head size how big is it?

Although it has changed shape the physiology will not be that different so I'd suggest sticking with earthworms but just give more. The main reason I'd avoid Xenopus is fear of chytrid which they often carry.

My artificially morphed axolotl is thriving on earthworms and terrestrial morphing is a more drastic change than the cannibal morph.
Thanks for the post, the head isnt massively bigger but it has changed, where as the axolotls ive had before have shown a "forehead" for want of a better word, a slight curve, this axolotl doesnt display this feature, it slopes straight down and the mouth appears appears more pointed than the typical blunt mouth. This may just be a random mutation and unrelated to its cannabalism, i will probally never know but i am interested in the views of people who are more experienced and better qualified in these matters. I will get pics up when i can get a decent camera as mine is naff.
My xenopus have been in a closed system for two years and have displayed no signs of chytrid or passed it on to my axolotls and i have fed damaged tadpoles and froglets to them numerous times, however i have no idea of incubation times etc of this disease so i had better read up on it.
The axolotl has changed its physiology to cope with a different diet, is it not plausable that its digestive system etc might also have adapted to this change? has any research been done on this? Your artificially morphed axolotl is now land based and " thriving" on terrestrial invertebrates, hardly suprising lol, i get your point though.
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Old 14th November 2011   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

the heads of my more aggressive babies are wider and flatter. I dont see why they can't be fed the tadpoles if they are non toxic and are quarintined. They are opertunistic feeders and will eat anything, i dont think a varied diet will be of any harm, just make sure it is getting the right amount of nutrients from its staple like earthworms or pellets, and then add the feeders. I feed mine a variety of theings, they are growing, are healthy and are a good weight. everything in moderation
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Old 14th November 2011   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

Why would you ever feed the children of a pet you were breeding to another pet? To me, that's like breeding puppies to feed to a pet lion.
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Old 14th November 2011   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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Originally Posted by EasternNewtLove View Post
Why would you ever feed the children of a pet you were breeding to another pet? To me, that's like breeding puppies to feed to a pet lion.
Because amphibians often produce hundreds of offspring. In most cases, people are not equipped to raise hundreds. Using the excess as feeders makes sense to me.
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Old 14th November 2011   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

It's natural that the biggest and fastest growing larvae use the smallest runts as food. In vernal pools filled with hundred of hungry larvae they can be the most abundant and substantial food source for larger larvae. I bet it serves as a much needed dose of protein right before they morph out.
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Old 14th November 2011   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

The diet of Ambystoma opacum larvae is entirely the hatchlings of other amphibians.
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Old 14th November 2011   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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The diet of Ambystoma opacum larvae is entirely the hatchlings of other amphibians.
Well, yeah but thats nature, thats different.
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Old 14th November 2011   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

Nature in the woods or nature in a fish tank, it all works the same. You just get to see it up close in the fish tank. Its a dog eat dog world out there or a Axolotl eat Axolotl word if you like. : )
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Old 15th November 2011   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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Originally Posted by EasternNewtLove View Post
Why would you ever feed the children of a pet you were breeding to another pet? To me, that's like breeding puppies to feed to a pet lion.
I breed frogs, sell many to pet shops and feed the surplus to my axolotls (whilst they are still small enough to be killed quickly), i havent got the tank space to correctly rear hundreds and it is illegal to release them into the wild as they are a potentially invasive species in the UK.
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Old 15th November 2011   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

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Originally Posted by EasternNewtLove View Post
Well, yeah but thats nature, thats different.
In what way is it different? I also rear guppies ,cherry shrimp,brine shrimp and daphnia as food, would you object to that? i also collect earthworms to feed to my axolotls and frogs. I provide a diet of live food to my pets in addition to a small amount of pellet food. My amphibians are predators and they get a varied diet, which i hope provides them a balanced source of nutrition. If you dont like feeding animals to other animals you might like to get a tortoise or a rabbit. You could make the argument that axolotls can survive on pellets and that live food is unnecessary and cruel but those pellets are made from animal protein(as far as i am aware).
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Old 15th November 2011   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cannibalistic axolotl

I see absolutely nothing wrong with feeding axies frogs, tads, or other sals. Heck, I feed my axolotls fish, worms, tadpoles, green frogs, crawdads, pinkies, squirrel and deer meat, other axies or salamanders. Basically whatever I have on hand they'll eat. They are my little newt room garbage disposals.

I even have 1 pair of axies that I breed just for the purpose of using the larvae as food for my other caudates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaysie View Post
The diet of Ambystoma opacum larvae is entirely the hatchlings of other amphibians.
This is absolutely not true. In most cases the larvae hatch out 2-3 months before the next amphibian larvae show up. They feed on daphnia, scuds, aquatic isopods, fairy shrimp, etc. The list is endless.
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