The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store

Notices

Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) Perhaps the most famous and frequently bred newts in captivity, the fire-bellied newts and sword-tail newts are well known throughout the world as being excellent, gregarious captives.


Reply

 

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 9th October 2004   #1
nate
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

(reopening the last thread here)

I'll go ahead and post my overall opinion and my rationale to each "distinguishing" characteristic of chenggongensis as described by Kou and Xing and how they apply to Tim's animals.

1.) C. chenggongensis has a less prominent vertebral ridge than C. cyanurus

Like Willj pointed out, these guys have every bit of a pronounced vertebral ridge as the cyanurus.

2.) C. chenggongensis has smoother skin than cyanurus

Clearly, neither group of animals appears to have smoother skin than the other. I would also add that my own cyanurus' skin texture can change from fairly rough to very smooth.

3.) C. chenggongensis is slightly longer than C. cyanurus

The comparison photo above is not a very good one, as it appears to have a small male next to a large, well-fed female. Females are already known to be larger than males. The maximum length given for chenggongensis is 10.6cm, yet the maximum length for C. c. yunnanensis is 11.5cm. So we have a contradiction in the literature, and an obsolete distinguishing characteristic.

4.) Female chenggongensis have conspicuous black spots on the tail

We see black spots, but we also see them on cyanurus. I have female yunnanensis with black spots as well. Again, a useless characteristic overall.

5.) C. chenggongensis have a row of 1-10 (sometimes more) yellow to orange spots along the sides, from shoulder to tail base (NOTE: most have this, not all)

We see a single spot on one animal that fits this description. However, we see a similar spot on Paul's yunnanensis. I also have 2 animals which show a spot in the same general area. C. orientalis often have a spot in this area. The fact is, most animals should be showing 1-10 spots according to the description, yet not a single animal shown by either Tim nor Angus shows a row of spots. Only one animal even shows one spot.


Ok, on to some sweeping conclusions:

1.) Angus does not possess chenggongensis (and neither does Tim). Sorry Tim! But I get the feeling you're not needing much consolation right now...Click the image to open in full size.

2.) The characteristics described for chenggongensis are subjective, poor, and just as applicable to cyanurus, other than having a row of 1-10 spots.

3.) C. cyanurus is clearly a highly variable group. The same animal may possess traits of both yunnanesis and cyanurus, as Paul points out on one of Tim's photos (nominate cyanurus tail coloration, yet yunnanensis cloaca on the same animal). Adding to this, animals change colors or periodically lighten and darken. Subspecies may not even be warranted. Remember: this is precisely what Zhao already told Angus and so shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

4.) At best, it seems likely that chenggongensis was never a valid species and was misidentified cyanurus. Remember: this is precisely what Zhao told Angus and shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

5.) C cyanurus (of all kinds) are exceptionally beautiful newts! You're a lucky man, Tim




(Message edited by nate on October 10, 2004)

(Message edited by nate on October 10, 2004)



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #2
nate
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Mattias: you were definitely right with your comments about not taking the species description so seriously. I was definitely wrong, hehe. Click the image to open in full size.

There are not even drawings or photos with this description, which I think is crazy considering it was in 1983. I can certainly see what you mean now with Chinese/Russian literature.

I will scan it and post it here for everyone as soon as I can.



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #3
Tim Johnson
(TJ)
Site Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 4,471
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: TJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default

Kou and Xing evidently did find something so the question is to me whether what they found really constitutes a separate species and why. And the other question is whether Angus' newts fit the description of the newts that they found. I am not convinced that they do -- and, in the absence of a strong counterargument, I am willing to concede the points made by Nate and his conclusion. At the same time, however, I am interested in looking for possible differences with the two known species of cyanurus that may suggest that the newts in question are either an unrecorded subspecies of cyanurus or even an unrecorded species. Having stated that for the record, I am still interested in hearing counterarguments Click the image to open in full size.

(Message edited by TJ on October 10, 2004)



TJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #4
benjamin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

If Kou and Xing never discovered a seperate species then it's about time the scientific community found out.



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #5
Tim Johnson
(TJ)
Site Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 4,471
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: TJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default

Frankly, I haven't had time to examine them closely until now. I take back what I said about the "chenggongensis" being bigger as I see that the biggest cyanurus is about the same size as the "chenggongensis", which are all roughly the same size. Here are some pics showing the one new from each group -- both females, I think -- that show the closest resemblance.

Click the image to open in full size.

("chengongensis" on the left and cyanurus on the right)

Click the image to open in full size.

(cyanurus on the left and "chenggongensis" on the right

I can't see much difference at all between these two specimens.

(Message edited by TJ on October 10, 2004)



TJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #6
Tim Johnson
(TJ)
Site Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 4,471
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: TJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default

The other cyanurus, mostly males, are considerably smaller and more mottled:

Click the image to open in full size.



TJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #7
Tim Johnson
(TJ)
Site Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 4,471
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: TJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default

Also, I see now that most of my cyanurus have a band across the cloaca, which I am given to understand would make them yunnanensis:

Click the image to open in full size.

Still only the one egg Click the image to open in full size.



TJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #8
jesper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Very nice Tim, thanks for taking the time. It is very interesting to see the variation within cyanurus. Maybe it is time to start talking of races here too, eh Tim?

I'd like to hear what made Angus think these were chenggonesis made he has seen something we have missed? Angus?



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #9
henk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Wel this is starting to be more odd then anything else. Here are some shots I made of my cyanurus which were charcoal black... and quite large. THe skin was somewhat corrosive (like Cynops pyrhogaster) and concerning behavior what struck me was their tail, it mostly was curled up like a cameleon. I see I have not yet posted a picture of their back. I will do so in the next week and coma back later on this

http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/...mp;where-kwid=



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #10
Tim Johnson
(TJ)
Site Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 4,471
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: TJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default

The pleasure's all mine, Jesper Click the image to open in full size.

Henk, I was surprised today to see the tail of one of my cyanurus curled up like that.
I have never seen that with my Japanese Cynops or with my C.orientalis.
I didn't get a shot of it though...

Another thing I have noticed is that they are nippy with each other at mealtime Click the image to open in full size.



TJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #11
henk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Well tim I found this to be a behaviour typical for this species (so far). And they seem to do it quite often.



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #12
ira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

my c.o. get nippy during meal time too. i sometimes have to go into the tank to break up fights.



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #13
henk
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Oeps I see I may have spread soem confusion, I was talking about the curling of the tail being quite common in that species and I have not seen this in other species so far (except Taricha from time to time)

The heavy activity during feeding time occurs in many species and my C. pyrgohaster sasayam were also quite agressive at feeding time, the T. verucosus are just as agressive.



  Reply With Quote
Old 10th October 2004   #14
paul
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

"Also, I see now that most of my cyanurus have a band across the cloaca, which I am given to understand would make them yunnanensis"

Tim, the cloaca color is the one, but on the other hand they look like nominat cyanurus. Maybe my description is not exact, maybe I understand it wrong, maybe yours are from an other part of Yunnan, than the nominate or yunnanensis type locality.
What is their total length?
My largest female has a length of 11 cm.

Henk, yours are yunnanensis, I think. They look like my.

Jesper, to describe races or subspecies we must know their exact locality. We do not know anything about the differences within a population.

Paul



  Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2004   #15
jesper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Yes, yes of course Paul. I was more thinking that since all these newts(cyanurus ssp.) seem to be look-a-likes...
It seems to me that experienced keeper of cyanurus ssp., like yourself for example, cannot tell them apart. Since the variation seems to be endless what springs to my mind is the pyrrhogaster races and if we possibly can divide cyanurus like that once we have locality data. It is only speculation of course, like most of this thread. The extreme variation in the offspring of one couple from the cincinnati zoo does not agree of course.... Gee it would be awfully nice to get some pics of the offspring of those animals....Click the image to open in full size.



  Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2004   #16
nate
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Yeah, I agree with jesper. These are not making clear sense, and I tend to think that this is not because we are incorrectly interpreting the subspecies descriptions, but rather that the subspecies descriptions are incorrect and useless(as Zhao told Angus). It seems that at the time when they were written, the researchers simply were not aware of all the variation.

BTW, Erik did post some photos of those Cincy Zoo offspring. That thread is in the firebellied newts section.



  Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2004   #17
william
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

i'm on the fence on this argument, but i don't think that the three "chenggongensis" have the black band across the cloaca like yunnanensis. or at least complete bands.



  Reply With Quote
Old 11th October 2004   #18
mattias
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Hi again!

I am bound to lean towards the original suggestion of Nate about the specimens probably being cyanurus and give him (You) credits for the untouchable arguments.

I supose that one could take any (or many at least) amphibian population in a pond and sort them up in different groups of colour traits. Then one can belive that it is many different subspecies when presented the groups separated nicely.

It could be the case here. Large batches with many species in including cyanurus, coming into the grossist market, could have been sorted up in false groups when it comes to systematics.

The original collection sites is badly needed as allways!

As I am not so well informed about cyanurus and am a lazy one: are there cyanurus also at the type locality of chengongenis? Could it be that Kou and co. based their characters on a cyanurus from another place and not knowing about the great variation in the species? Is it possible this was some of the first salamanders examined about them?



  Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2004   #19
Tim Johnson
(TJ)
Site Contributor
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 4,471
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: TJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.orgTJ is a well respected, valued and knowledgeable member of Caudata.org
Default

A new twist to the tale Click the image to open in full size.

Here is what the newly released Global Amphibian Assessment has to say about Cynops chenggongensis:

Scientific Name: Cynops chenggongensis
Authority: Kou and Xing, 1983
Taxonomic Comments: We consider Cynops chenggongensis to be separate from Cynops cyanurus following Zhao and Adler (1993) and Fei et al. (1999).
Red List Category: Data Deficient (DD)
Red List Category Rationale: Listed as Data Deficient in view of continuing uncertainties as to its extent of occurrence, status and ecological requirements.
Date of Assessment: 20 May 2004
Red List Assessor(s): Fei Liang, Xie Feng
Red List Evaluator(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Population Trend: Unknown
Range Comments: This species is known only from the type locality of Shuitang, Chenggong County, Yunnan Province, China. The limits of its distribution are not known. It was collected at 1,940m asl.

So it seems Fei and others consider this to be a valid species...

One question: who is Fei and what report is this that came out in 1999???



TJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2004   #20
jesper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Gallery Images:
Comments:
Default

Fei, L. 1999, Atlas of Amphibians of China. Chengdu (China), Chengdu Institute of Biology, p. 1-432.



  Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
(ii), chenggongensis, thread


(View-All Members who have read this thread : 26 (Set)

Azhael, Ben Krysa, chezr, Chinadog, Crystalann0219, End, FrogEyes, froggy, frogman, Greatwtehunter, Greewok, grunsven, jasper408, Jennewt, maz373, michael, Molch, Newt lover 13, otolith, Redear, skyler, Spectacled90, stanleyc, Stupot1610, wouter
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cynops cyanurus/chenggongensis henk Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) 1 20th November 2004 20:35
E.cirrigerra/E.siren chenggongensis dot Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) 6 8th November 2004 17:32
The C. chenggongensis thread again (I) jesper Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) 44 9th October 2004 23:07
Cynops chenggongensis continued... nate Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) 34 3rd October 2004 22:47
Cynops chenggongensis jesper Fire-Belly & Sword-Tail Newts (Cynops & Hypselotriton) 77 29th September 2004 15:03


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:50.