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Morphed axolotls

This is a discussion on Morphed axolotls within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; I recently received some hormonally morphed axolotls from a friend, unlike axolotls who morph due to poor conditions these guys ...

Axolotl General Discussion Open axolotl forum: if it doesn't fit in the sub-topics then post it here.

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Old 16th May 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default Morphed axolotls

I recently received some hormonally morphed axolotls from a friend, unlike axolotls who morph due to poor conditions these guys appear healthy and should have a similar life expectancy to an aquatic axolotl. If anyone wishes to dispute this please make sure to quote the study you are referring to, if it is just an opinion based on your personal experience please make that clear. I have researched this matter and there is no evidence for a decreased life expectancy of correctly morphed axolotls. Any attempt to morph an axolotl without the correct knowledge and access to the correct drugs will probably result in unnecessary suffering and death, as will trying to morph an adult. Many people in the UK would like a tiger sal but refuse to source wc, a morphed axolotl is essentially a tiger with dainty feet and has the benefit of being cb. I do not expect everybody on this site to appreciate the morphing of axolotls but any accusation of cruelty will be refuted.
First pic is of one of the axolotls before treatment
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Second pic, tail is shrinking
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Third pic, tail, gills and eyes have changed. The axolotls continued to eat during the process and actually appeared to put on body mass, something I was not expecting tbh.
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Fourth pic, nearly there
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Fith / sixth / seventh pic, fully terrestrial
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Old 16th May 2013   #2 (permalink)
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They're so cute. :)

I have no issue if its done by someone who knows exactly what they're doing.
When it happens due to being tortured by water conditions or by someone who doesn't know what they're doing, then I have a problem with it.

I'm seeing more of these in Australian pet shops & expect to see more as they sell for AU$150-200 compared to axolotls which are much cheaper AU$20-35 so I expect breeders will be trying their hand at morphing them. Retail laws for reptiles have only just changed here in NSW & stores will soon be allowed to sell reptiles after purchasing a retail licence. (Newts / Sals will still be banned.. But not axolotls)

I have a feeling I'll be making a bed (tank) for one or two if these in the future if I'm able to get healthy well bred ones like these in the pictures :)




<3 >o_o< <3
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Old 16th May 2013   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

Nothing wrong with doing it properly. I've heard that they have shorter lifespans (5 instead of 10+) but I don't know if that's naturally morphing axolotl's, induced morphing axolotls or "**** my water sucks better go on land" axolotls :) Either way the ones in your picture seem healthy
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Old 16th May 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

It will be interesting to see how long they live. Those pictures are really good, you can see the legs getting bigger and stronger. How long did it take them to morph?
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Old 16th May 2013   #5 (permalink)
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While researching assignment I spoke to some keepers and we discussed morphs. Apparently recent years some morphs have thrived and still going (touch wood).
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Old 16th May 2013   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

Wasn't there a topic about an article on this site which said that lifespan wasn't shortened very much if axolotls were morphed while they were still growing? I can understand that morphed axolotls are wanted in Australia, because of the fact it's the only legal newt to be kept.
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Old 16th May 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

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Originally Posted by snuggly time View Post
It will be interesting to see how long they live. Those pictures are really good, you can see the legs getting bigger and stronger. How long did it take them to morph?
Total morphing period according to the literature is about a month but it depends on temperature and quite where you count from. Photos 3 and 5 are 18 days apart. Getting conditions right and making sure all was well both before during and after morphing took far more trouble and time than I expected.

I was very surprised how ravenous this batch were. They will continue to grow, It was only when I saw them morphed and compared them with my 4 year 7 month old morphed leucistic I realised how big it now was!

If you want my views (and others) on the ethics of morphing here is the ethics thread:
Metamorphosed Axolotls-ethical questions

Please contribute to that thread as well if appropriate.
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Old 19th June 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

The morphs are doing well, they hid in their burrows for a couple of weeks when I first had them, they only ventured out for food. They have grown more confident with their new tank and can be seen wandering around at any time of the day but are more active in subdued light. They are feeding on earthworms, crickets and roaches. They are active hunters and I have seen them chasing after crickets thought they are not particularly fast.
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Old 19th June 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

So now they are morphed can they still breed?

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Old 19th June 2013   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

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Originally Posted by melfly View Post
So now they are morphed can they still breed?

Mel
In general people do not seem to have tried, clearly they will not breed in a purely terrestrial setup.

My female metamorphosed A. mexicanum did become very rounded and go aquatic this winter but I did not have a suitable male. Aquatic axolotls are much easier to breed.
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Old 12th October 2013   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Morphed axolotls

I live in Australia & bought 3 'salamanders' (later found to be morphies) for $80 each.
I had a black & white marbled; Marilyn
A golden albino spotty orange one; Morpheus
& a completely pink one, who I still have; Mustang.

Lost Marilyn & Morpheus to heat stroke, it was too late by the time I figured it out.
Mustang spends most of his time in the water though dry's off completely on the land every so often.
Marylin was a girl & I'm fairly sure the other two were boys, & they lived together for over a yeah and a half with no breeding!

Very interesting about your post, I was always under the impression it was very cruel.
Thanks for showing me otherwise, always an interesting topic!
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