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Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) The largest, and one of the most diverse groups of salamanders, these salamanders have all evolved to breathe solely through their skin and are found almost exclusively in North America.

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Old 20th August 2009   #1
taherman
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Default More captive plethodontid breedings

It has been a pretty successful year with plethodontids at the Toledo Zoo where I amazingly get paid to take care of salamanders. We had 3 clutches of Hemidactylium eggs with 60+ metamorphs produced. A clutch of Desmognathus welteri eggs are around 2/3 of their way through development. And the best IMO is the 2 clutches of Plethodon glutinosus eggs that were laid in the past week on exhibit. Both mothers are attending and the eggs are developing nicely in full view of the public. If the egg counts drop I will probably remove some to raise on perlite via the Russ Cormack (tm) method.

Here's a few photos for you to enjoy.
-Tim
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Old 20th August 2009   #2
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Lovely pictures and congratulations!



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Old 20th August 2009   #3
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Gah. This is just too cool for words; this is why I love this forum. Thanks for sharing!



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Old 20th August 2009   #4
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Wow Tim, you continue to impress :). I'm amazed by the Plethodon glutinosus - are they in full light or is it dark in there normally?



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Old 20th August 2009   #5
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Just amazing, Tim! I love the glutinosus display, and so do they by the looks of it. Thanks for sharing your successes with us all.



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Old 20th August 2009   #6
taherman
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

There is a normal day/night cycle with fairly bright lights (several 50W halogens and some 55W compact fluorescents) in the plethodontid seep exhibit. One layed under a substantial rock overhang that is well shaded, the other in a semi-exposed nook of the rockwork.



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Old 21st August 2009   #7
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Congratulations! It all looks amazing.



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Old 21st August 2009   #8
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Whats the best way to raise the Desmognathus welteri eggs? I found a clutch up in the mountains (mnt. Jimney or something in MA) They look 100% exactly like the picture. How do I care for them??? Do I leave the eggs on moist towels or submerged in water. I have them in a plastic tub with water under them.


Some of the larve are out of their eggs but arent moving and still have their yolk sacs. A couple are moving even tho they are out and some are moving in thier egg. The larve all have front and back limbs in their eggs.

Is it bad for them to be in the water right now while they are in thier egg?


Also they say that Desmognathus welteri are not found in MA at all but I have the eggs to prove it... THey look like your picture unless the picture is labled wrong. The larve are brownish with tiny spots in a line.
The reason I took them is because the mother was dead on the walk way. I think a mountain bike smooshed her. She was dead for several days. I saw a mouse check them out but I scarred it away and grabbed the eggs. I want to raise them. I have raised other salamanders but not this species.




Last edited by monkeyfrogman28; 21st August 2009 at 20:18. Reason: more info
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Old 22nd August 2009   #9
taherman
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Hi Monkeyfrogman,

If your eggs are from a Desmognathus species, which it sounds like they may be, it is almost certainly Desmognathus fuscus. Larval desmognathus look VERY similar between species.

Your best bet would be to find a small plastic container which seals well and put some perlite in the bottom dampened with pure distilled water. You do not want to put the eggs in water, or to allow the water to actually get the eggs soaking wet, just wet enough to keep the substrate damp and keep humidity high. If the eggs are sitting in water they may absorb too much and swell up, causing premature hatching.

Put the lid on the container and poke a small hole ~2mm in the lid. The eggs do not need much air and there is more of a risk of desiccation than suffocation if you allow too much air flow. Keep the container in a cool place, ~60-70F and check the eggs every few days. If the eggs do make it completely through development they can be raised like most other small larval salamanders...for which there is plenty of info on this website. The eggs can be difficult to hatch without the mother present, as they receive protection from harmful bacterial and fungal infections via contact with the female's skin.

Also, you may want to check on the legal status of keeping native amphibians in Massachusetts, as I am unfamiliar with your state's regulations.

Good luck!
Tim



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Old 23rd August 2009   #10
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Thank you T.



One larve is already out swimming about. I took damp paper towels, stacked a large layer up and dampen them and under the towels there the water is so the larve will fall into it. I added some java moss in the water area as of now.



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Old 25th August 2009   #11
Russ Cormack
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

You are on a roll this year!



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Old 31st October 2009   #12
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Default Update...More captive plethodontid breedings

9 eggs successfully hatched on exhibit last week for all to see. Now they've been removed to avoid predation by other species in the enclosure. We still have 6 eggs developing off exhibit as well.

-Tim
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Old 31st October 2009   #13
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Default Re: Update...More captive plethodontid breedings

Tim, you are living my dream. We just sent some Desmognathus quadramaculatus out to Kansas with hopes of them starting a breeding program. Cool stuff! Good luck with the eggs!



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Old 31st October 2009   #14
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Mississippi River Museum has gotten eggs from quadramaculatus the past two years, but they keep going bad. Not sure if they've tried them on perlite/itraconazole though.

I guess I never updated the welteri, they hatched too and we have 10 good larvae eating and growing.
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Old 31st October 2009   #15
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Very cool. I expect the same out of you with the zoo's bogies now!



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Old 2nd November 2009   #16
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Quote:
Originally Posted by taherman View Post
Mississippi River Museum has gotten eggs from quadramaculatus the past two years, but they keep going bad. Not sure if they've tried them on perlite/itraconazole though.
Interesting. I don't know why they chose D. quadramaculatus though, they take a lot longer to develop and mature... Their size is impressive though.



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Old 2nd November 2009   #17
taherman
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

D. marmoratus has always interested me due to the completely aquatic habits. Kind of like keeping mini hellbenders.

Russ, I just set up all our Bolitoglossa in breeding groups today finally (had to build big shelving for all the potential salamanders the room will eventually hold) and they certainly seemed interested in each other. Keep your fingers crossed...



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Old 2nd November 2009   #18
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Default Re: More captive plethodontid breedings

Congrats Tim! You guys are kicking butt up there with the sallies. Keep it up dude!



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