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How old is my Axie?

This is a discussion on How old is my Axie? within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hey! I'm new to Caudata and new to Axolotls too. I've been researching them over the last few months, but ...

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Old 7th July 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default How old is my Axie?

Hey! I'm new to Caudata and new to Axolotls too. I've been researching them over the last few months, but it was only on Saturday that I brought home my new family member - a tiny white axie. What I really want to know is how old she is. The store didn't seem to know. All they could tell me is that they had her for about 6 weeks. I wonder if anyone could make an educated guess? I have uploaded photos of her.

I say 'she', because I'm sure she has reached sexual maturity (her toes look dirty and I've read that this is a sign that she has matured) and going by the examples on the http://www.axolotl.org/ site, I'm fairly sure I have a little girl. She is about 4 inches long - it's difficult to tell as she's never flat against the glass of her tank. She seems very thin but I put this down to the fact that she is young. I realise that she probably isn't that tiny as far as axies go, but to me she's miniature.

Would also love to hear tips anyone has for a nooby like me. Different ideas for food? She had her first worm today and I cannot believe how fast she ate it! She also shook a little while eating it. Was this her way of keeping it from escaping?
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Old 7th July 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Hi Fiona,

at that size I would guess somewhere between 6 and 8 months, enjoy your new leucistic axolotl
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Old 8th July 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Hi Fumi,

Your axie does look like a juvenile on the brink of sexual maturity. I would estimate less than a year but more than 6 months.

Cheers.
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Old 8th July 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Excellent! So I have a little Madame on my hands. Saying that if she's just on the brink of maturity, then I may have an immature male...! I will have to wait and see if I have a little Fumi or a little Fu.

Okay, I know this sounds strange, but I fed Fumi her first worm yesterday evening, and I swear she's grown an inch in length over night and she's definitely got a bit of a belly going on. I only gave her a small worm this morning as I wasn't sure if she was ready for another one.

However, seeing the last part of Florieke's post 'New axolotl owner' I'm worried that she's not eating enough. You can see her ribs in some of her photos quite prominently. I know it's difficult to say, but how much should I feed her a day? And how many times a day etc.?
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Old 8th July 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Hi Fiona,

Your axie appears to be in good body condition. I would say its just nice. Those are not 'ribs' you are seeing but rather costal grooves. They are a normal anatomical feature.

As your axie is still young, i would go for either alternate days or three times a week feeding session. You can offer either a single large earthworm, a small ball of blackworms, a cube of defrosted bloodworms or about 3-5 axie pellets during each feeding session. You can try offer a variety and the occasional treat as well.

Cheers
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Old 8th July 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Hi again! I fed Fumi a small worm this morning, which she seemingly ate, and when I got home this evening it was on the bottom of the tank. I'm not sure if it was the whole worm chewed up, or if it was just the worms skin. Is this sort of behaviour normal? And should I assume that she hasn't eaten today? Or count that as a meal? Thanks.
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Old 9th July 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Hi Fiona,

Chances are the worm was spat out. When axies feed, the tend to swallow the whole worm (or spit it out). Their teeth are not meant for ripping or shredding but rather just to hold and reposition the prey in the mouth before swallowing.

I would recommend you take out that worm and try feed a new worm, watching to see if it swallows or brings it up again.

Cheers.
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Old 9th July 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How old is my Axie?

Hi Fiona

My lotl does this sometimes too - generally he'll do it after he's already ate a few worms though, so I think he'll gobble it out of habit, but then realise he is full and spit it out...he seems to do it more with big worms too, maybe the worm you fed was a bit large for her to swallow in one go?

Zoe x
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