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Near and Middle Eastern Newts (Neurergus) Arguably the most beautiful newts in the world, this Asian genus is highly desired by many hobbyists.

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Old 29th July 2005   #1
jennifer
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It has been a while since I posted about my brood of N. strauchii. See:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/message...tml?1117635890

Oddly, they seem to have decided to become something like "neotenic", though I hesitate to label them as such. They have the full juvenile coloration, but they still have gills (of varying sizes) and they remain totally aquatic.

Their tanks are now at about 21-22C and the water depth is about 15 cm. Since changing into this juvenile form, they are eating less and growing more slowly.

They seem to enjoy clustering together in groups, especially under tight-fitting rocks. This is a behavior I have never seen in any other newt, but this is probably what they would do for survival in their natural rocky habitat.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 29th July 2005   #2
ester
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Very nice pictures! Thanks for sharing them.
In their natural habitat, don't the bodies of water simply disappear? Maybe they stay aquatic until the water disappears.



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Old 29th July 2005   #3
ira
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very nice newts jen, they seem quite bold too.



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Old 29th July 2005   #4
pin-pin
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Congratulations Jen!



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Old 30th July 2005   #5
william
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congrats! lovely animals, i'd love to keep them one day myself.



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Old 2nd August 2005   #6
david
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Here's some of Jen babies that have morphed for me
Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 2nd August 2005   #7
sergé
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There is a different in the intensity of the yellow (difference in food probably?).
I already asked Jen to write a paper on her breeding and she did. I will add some of my observations in the wild and it will make a nice piece on this species.
It would be nice however to see why her animals stay in water and the others don't. Is there difference in food? In water temperatures or others? Could you write how you raised them?



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Old 2nd August 2005   #8
david
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Hi Serge, there are some differences probably between the way I've raised them from Jen. She has a basement and I don't. I keep my air conditioning set to 71F and Jens basement might be a little cooler. Mine have been raised on live blackworms, I'm not sure but I think Jen mixes in small earthworm chunks when she's feeding them. When mine developed and got their color, I moved them to a tank with about 3/4s to an inch of water with lot of rocks for climbing out. I'm sure some of these things probably triggered an earlier morph. Mine seem to be doing well, but the longer they stay in water is probably better.



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Old 2nd August 2005   #9
jennifer
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This month, my basement has climbed to 72-74F, although water temps remain somewhat lower than that. I feed them mostly blackworms, but about once a week they also get some daphnia, which they still eat very happily. That could account for the color difference, although it could also be a photographic artifact.

In the past few weeks, I've noticed more and more "clumping" behavior among them. I find groups of them all huddled together in a cluster under a rock or even on TOP of an object. Some of them wedge themselves in upside down in order to clump with the others. I think they must be huddling together anticipating that the water level will drop??? I'm thinking about adding more rocks to the tanks and lowering the water.



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Old 3rd August 2005   #10
sergé
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Hi Jen,

can the juveniles get out of the water easily? In David's case they can; if they can't in your situation then you might more or less force them to stay aquatic. I have done this with Crested newts species (which is fairly easy). Then they can also keep some rests of the gills. Do they go up to catch air?

And eh, for the Europeans..could you translate the Fahrenheit into Celsius for me ;-)

Sergé



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Old 3rd August 2005   #11
david
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My temp, 71F equals 21.66C. Jen's temps 72F to 74F equals 22.22C to 23.33C



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Old 4th August 2005   #12
jennifer
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Yes, the juveniles can get out of the water, on a large island at one corner of the tanks. They do go up for air.



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Old 4th August 2005   #13
sergé
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Thanks for the quick response! Well...then why is there a difference? Interesting! As it can't be genetical it must be from the environment; water quality? food?
Would be nice to find out!



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Old 4th August 2005   #14
david
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It looks like many of Jen's animals are close. Once they start morphing, many could change fast. I hope they stay aquatic until it cools off out here. It's been a warm summer



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Old 17th August 2005   #15
jennifer
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Updated update. Many have lost their gills, or nearly so. The strange thing is that there was never a single time I could point to and say "this is metamorphosis". The change in color was gradual, I'm not sure exactly when they began breathing air, and the recession of the gills was VERY VERY slow. And they aren't coming up out of the water.

I have rearranged one of their setups as shown below. The tub is tilted so the rocks are very shallow. They spend their time packed into the cracks among the rocks, but still eat blackworms in the deeper area.

Click the image to open in full size.

(Message edited by jennewt on August 17, 2005)



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Old 17th August 2005   #16
jeff
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That looks great Jen.

Click the image to open in full size.

See the green guy above me? That's my jealousy! Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 18th August 2005   #17
sergé
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Can't they climb out? I mean is there a lid or cover on top? Should be, because else they can easily escape!



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Old 18th August 2005   #18
jennifer
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Good point. I take lids for granted, but should point it out. This should clarify things Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.



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