View Full Version : Who out there....

7th December 2004, 16:36
if anyone is paying attention-they will know that this section hardly ever gets posts, admittedly these sals are limited to most due to lack of access (not lack of making great pets). true- some sections-like the giant sal section that combines sirens with hellbenders and mudpuppies- have more posts because they contain more species, but still......

sooo....i am wondering just how many in our audience here at caudata.org keep these beauties? i myself have 2 Dicamptodon ensatus (if anyone out there has a spare female let me know-i very well cant breed them with just 2 males!)- i know of only 2 people but i think they cant be THAT uncommon. anyone in europe keep them? how many people have the morphed varieties and how many have the neotenic ones? - anything unusual about keeping the neotenic ones -or are they as easy to keep as most neotenic sals-like mudpuppies?

11th December 2004, 13:08
Wow, I knew these were rare in collections, but.....

I have found a few adults and a bucket load of larvae over the years, but I've always shied away from keeping them. Do you have a pic of your set-up for them?


11th December 2004, 14:25
not on hand right now-i had to separate them cause they kept biting each other-i had seen them do it-it didnt appear to be aggression but reflexive feeding that caused them to chomp on each other-there were 2 in a 50 g tank-but they turned out to both be males -so i saw no reason to keep them together...

13th December 2004, 04:43
I keep both Dicamptodon ensatus and tenebrosis. I have two small/medium sized terrestrial adults of D. tenebrosis and two D. ensatus which I raised from larvae and morphed last year by dropping the water and increasing temperature. They are among my favorite captives. Great personality and eating habits etc.
My only problem is that I personally think breeding them would be near impossible for an average hobbyist and extremely difficult for even a zoo with all the resources needed.
I know several people who aren't caudata.org folk that keep them. They are found pretty widely in Northern CA where I live so I am sure local herpers have come across them on rainy nights and keep them.

(Message edited by norcalsal on December 13, 2004)

13th December 2004, 08:17
well since no one seems to know how to or what triggers breeding, the limitations are also unknown (although i DO stand by the idea that you need at least 1 male and 1 female http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/smile6.gif...but thats not true for all salamanders, and we didnt know that until recently) like the arboreal salamander breedings, i am not sure that it was an issue of sudden success or just of lack of trying in the past. there is always such a thing as luck.

14th December 2004, 01:47
when i lived in washington, i used to keep copes giant salamanders. they are very strange and pretty hard to keep. has anyone else kept copes??

14th December 2004, 14:10
I think Travis hit the nail about how to attain these though. You're probably best off collecting larvae and raising them since they're a lot easier to find than adults.


15th December 2004, 02:03
Yeah, the adults are pure luck to come across.Larvae are easy, I have found them by the dozens. It isn't impossible to find adults on rainy nights in sections of the stream with some nice boulders and cracks but catching them is a whole other story. Rainy nights sometimes bring them out on the road and thats how I have heard most people caught their adults.
I've seen only a handful of adults while seeing hundreds of larvae.
Paris, thats a good spirit to have with these guys...who knows they could be triggered easily somehow, nobody knows much of anything. I have a feeling they would be quite an undertaking though.

15th December 2004, 12:39
Sorry for my ignorance, but where exactly are the problems in keeping and breeding them?
I can imagine that if you offer them a sufficient enclosure and some kind of annual change in climate it should work?

Am I wrong?


16th December 2004, 01:45
problem isnt having them its getting them, i have found the morphed ones very easy to keep-although i do know of someone who had lots of bad luck with neotenic/larval ones. access is the main stumping issue, that is why despite having 2 i have not been able to get any more.

16th December 2004, 19:20
For those of us who live outside the range of these beasts... we have an even slimmer chance of getting them. Unless a caudata.org member offers free larvae or something... most of us will never get a chance to even try to keep them. let alone breed them.

Although, I'm up for a road trip.


16th December 2004, 19:29
count me in greg....what ya doing over winter break???

16th December 2004, 19:29
I have a book which says that breeding can only be done in a large out door aquarium in cool slow flowing water. Eggs take 8 weeks to develop and can take up to two years to reach metamorphosis.

16th December 2004, 19:36
which book-let us in on it-the only reference i have to the eggs is an old photo.

16th December 2004, 20:16
I wasn't aware that Ben had experience with Dicamptodon enough to be giving advice on breeding.

I would much rather trust Paris, Russ or Travis on information regarding these species, as they've kept them and are familiar with their care.

And I wouldn't be quick to take advice from someone who claims he read about it in some book. Case in point: Though the Peter Scott axolotl book is somewhat informative, the information in it is not considered the best.

16th December 2004, 20:31
i have a strong suspicion the book he is using is this:


because it is the only book i know of that covers such a large number of caudate species in the same place. I own this book, and it has pretty good photos and i have used it as a reference when trying to find out a scientific name or what a creature looks like. However, alot of the care information in the book is outdated.

if it is a different book, please let me know, i would like to get it.

17th December 2004, 00:20
Hi Dot,
I wouldn't consider what Ben said to be giving advice he was citing what he had read (although it would have helped if he named the book).

Ira there are some incorrectly identified pictures in the book, one of a Bolitoglossa comes to mind...


17th December 2004, 03:52
yeah, the T. verrocosus in that book is also in correctly labled.

i take it with a grain of salt. It was published 10 years ago when alot of the species (like tylototriton) wernt that well understood by hobbyists.

17th December 2004, 12:50
It is the book Ira mentioned. Sorry I didn't give the name, and yes I agree the book is outdated; however, it does have plenty of good information, and it is the only book I know of which discusses dicamptodon breeding.

17th December 2004, 14:55
A lot of the breeding information in that book appear to not be based on experience but on a best guess analysis of the animal's habitat. Which is not a bad starting point, I just would not consider it to be gospel.
Old articles in various herp journals often give very exacting habitat descriptions for where animals were collected and are often better starting points.


17th December 2004, 20:10
You can always come and visit my location. The Cope's, and Pacific giant salamanders are around my area.

AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES of the PACIFIC NORTHWEST, Ronald A. Nussbaum, Edmund D. Brodie, Jr., Robert M. Strom. has some info re these species.

17th December 2004, 23:12
pamela, where do u live?? i am from shelton washington. i used to love observing copes in the cold streams in the olympic mts. awesome animals.

19th December 2004, 05:53
Hi Josh! I live in Kingston (North Kitsap). Not far from the Hood Canal. Very beautiful here! Course it is everywhere out here.

31st December 2004, 20:36
came across this post, and was curious what might be in my field guide about breeding and this is what is from the National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians

Breeding: Terrestrial adults breed in spring, in river headwaters, Eggs laid singly, on submerged timber. Hatching larvae, about 5/8", may transform during or following 2nd year at 3-6". Neotenic larvae mature at about 8". Larvae cannabalize smaller larvae and eat Tailed frog tadpoles and insects.....

I know its not much, and I'm sure this book is common, but thought I'd throw it up here incase it had something you didnt know.

18th January 2005, 18:13
i would have dicamptodon... is not possible to find larvas ?!? is that the problem.....


19th January 2005, 05:40
The problem is actually quite the opposite, The larvae are common and easy to find but the adults are more rare and tough to find. If it were the other way around I suspect many more people would keep the species because adults are hardy and good captives while larvae are a little more tough.