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Hynobiid Salamanders (Hynobiidae) This group of Far Eastern salamanders are becoming increasingly popular in captivity, and thanks to the captive breeding efforts of one European hobbyist in particular (you know who I mean), they are becoming easier and easier to acquire.

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Old 14th January 2007   #1
Tim Johnson
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I went to the mountains of western Tokyo with some fellow enthusiasts to observe Hynobius kimurae (the Hida Salamander). These salamanders begin taking to the streams around this time of the year. But it was still too early to find egg sacs, which are laid from around mid-February. Despite our efforts we were only able to find one, but a beautiful, egg-laden female she was Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

(Message edited by TJ on January 14, 2007)



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Old 14th January 2007   #2
Tim Johnson
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Old 14th January 2007   #3
Tim Johnson
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Old 14th January 2007   #4
wouter
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Finally again a Hynobius-in-the-wild-post Tim... beautiful species!

(Message edited by wouter on January 14, 2007)



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Old 14th January 2007   #5
Tim Johnson
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Yep, it's arguably the most beautiful hynobiid species

Click the image to open in full size.

It's the most widely distributed lotic (stream) breeding Hynobius species in Japan, but it's found only on Honshu Island. Here's a map showing its distribution:

Click the image to open in full size.
<font size="-2">(the big island above Honshu is not actually located off to the left of it as shown there but above the northern tip of Honshu)
</font>
There's marked genetic differentiation within Honshu. Indeed, those in the easternmost part of its range (the Kanto District that includes Tokyo) look quite different in terms of color and marking pattern from those elsewhere, namely the Chubu, Kinki and Chugoku districts to the west. Compare the one above with the ones the Henk keeps and has posted photographs of, and you'll see the difference between this one and his immediately.

It's found at altitudes ranging from 320-1,100 meters. Not as high as Onychodactylus japonicus (Japanese Clawed Salamander, but larvae of these two species sometimes share the same areas downstream. Since H. kimurae is up there in the mountains, it's less threatened than many other species and enjoys an IUCN Red List Status of a species of "Least Concern" Click the image to open in full size. Still, it really depends on the place, as in some prefectures it is locally listed as "Near Threatened"

For more info on genetic variation, see:

Allozyme variation of Hynobius kimurae Dunn (Amphibia, Caudata) (1999)
<font size="-2">By M. Matsui, Y. Misawa, K. Nishikawa, S. Tanabe</font>

(Message edited by TJ on February 23, 2007)



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Old 15th January 2007   #6
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Wel Tim , I have 3 H. kimurae at home and they do have different degrees of colorations. Will see if I can make some shots of them as soon as it gets a bit more comfortable overhere (time and temperature). Have just bought a new tank in order to make some better shots. I tested it out with some lissotritonn en pleurodeles nebulosus shots and it seems to work. So more to follow soon (if I can get the time factor in my favor)



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Old 15th January 2007   #7
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Indeed one of the most beautiful species Click the image to open in full size.I will post a pictures as well of my h.kimurae. On the other hand, Tim could you email me since I have lost your email and I need your address. I will ship you the promised asa zoo dvd with our japanese trips Click the image to open in full size. I know its a long wait but I had almost no time Click the image to open in full size.
Best regards
Yago



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Old 16th January 2007   #8
Tim Johnson
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Henk, I had in mind the photos of your H. kimurae you posted before, if not here then at AmphiabWeb:

http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=aw_search_index&amp;where-taxon=Hynobius+kimurae&amp;rel-taxon=begins+with&amp;where-lifeform=specimen_tag&amp;rel-lifeform=ne

Hi Yago. Those are some really beautiful western-variety H. kimurae you have. It would be great if you could post some photos of them (though I may have posted some before of the very same individuals before you ever laid eyes on them). I'll e-mail you soon Click the image to open in full size.



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Old 16th January 2007   #9
jennifer
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That's one really pretty Hynobius, Tim. Worth the trip, I would sayClick the image to open in full size.



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Old 16th January 2007   #10
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Well Tim , I acquired one more since and this one looks more black with some interesting orange dots .. be it far less spots then the one you show , but still close to it anyway...
Nevertheless they are great animals, but I am also very keen on those more yellow/orange H. tsuensis too, which I hope to breed one day too (in fact this is my future challenge...)



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Old 20th January 2007   #11
Mike East
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Thanks for posting those photos and info. It is nice to see the shots of the animals and their habitat.



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Old 27th January 2007   #12
Tim Johnson
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Hi Mike. Glad to hear that. Another such trip is planned for the middle of February.

The habitat is shared by Rana tagoi

Click the image to open in full size.

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(this one having a leg injury)

(Message edited by TJ on February 23, 2007)



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