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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 5th July 2002   #1
nate
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Hi all, I finally have something to contribute to this little used, remote corner of the forums...I arrived home tonight to find my Eurycea m. griseogaster have laid 22 eggs. The eggs are huge compared to their body size, it's really amazing. I had been watching them in courtship since early May, and had sort of given up on anything coming of it. Sure wish I had a camera to post pics.

These are really attractive little salamanders, and probably one of the most enjoyable species I've ever kept. This particular population is a dark coppery color, with yellow bellies. The males are distinguished by a large gland at the dorsal base of the tail and a broader, triangular head due to enlarged jaw muscles. They're so small, I can keep 4 in a 2.5g tank. The multiplicata/tynerensis species complex is currently being revised, so I'm not sure what species these will turn out to be.



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Old 7th July 2002   #2
edward
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Hi Nate,
Congratulations. Keep us posted,
Ed



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Old 7th July 2002   #3
john
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Nice one Nate. Please, please, please get a camera Click the image to open in full size., or borrow one.



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Old 23rd July 2002   #4
nate
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Ok, I borrowed a camera and attempted to take some decent photos with no instruction manual or help of any other kind, hehe.

Here are some of the eggs. They have since hatched.
<CENTER>Click the image to open in full size.</CENTER>

Here is the proud mother. Note you can see the yellow yolk of additional eggs through the skin along her side.
<CENTER>Click the image to open in full size.</CENTER>

Here's a shot of the gland on top of the male's tail base.
<CENTER>Click the image to open in full size.</CENTER>

The female again. The small bits of food are finely chopped nightcrawler.
<CENTER>Click the image to open in full size.</CENTER>

Ok, this picture isn't very good, I know, but I think it captures the personality of these salamanders well. They're quite responsive and personable. This one is hoping for food
<CENTER>Click the image to open in full size.</CENTER>



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Old 23rd July 2002   #5
Jennewt
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Nate, fantastic pictures! What kind of camera did you use? I hope you can borrow it often!



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Old 23rd July 2002   #6
nate
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Hi Jenn, thanks. It was a Nikon 950 "coolpix" digital camera. It's pretty user friendly in that in auto-focus mode, it's tough to take outright horrible photos. But still, looking at photos from John Clare, you can see that the mastery of it can be taken to a whole new level. I'd really love to own one myself someday. They go through batteries though in 15-20 minutes, literally.



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Old 11th December 2002   #7
nate
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Here's a photo of the larvae.

<center>Click the image to open in full size.</center>



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Old 10th April 2003   #8
nate
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Well, I've been seeing courtship again, and so I borrowed the camera last night hoping for some courtship photos. Unfortunately, they did not perform! But here's a nicer shot of the male's hedonic gland and a belly shot of a female starting to develop eggs.

<center>Click the image to open in full size.</center>

<center>Click the image to open in full size.</center>



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Old 10th April 2003   #9
yago
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Very nice shoots! And congratulations for your breeding success. I see that you are quite specialize in eurycea, could you inform us a bit about their captive breeding necessities? They seem quite aquatic (the water depth of the tank of E.cirrigera is quite obvious), and you use rocks as a main decoration for their habitat. What about temperature? Aquatic and terrestrial stages? Any curiosity?
Best wishes



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Old 10th April 2003   #10
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Hi Nate,
great pictures you posted on the different Eurycea species. Unfortunately Plethodontids are still neglected regarding their husbandry and not many people keep these fascinating animals. They are also difficult to obtain over here in Europe. I was once fortunate enough to observe Euryceas in their natural habitat (creek in Upstate N.Y.).
Congrats on your breeding success and good luck with the animals.
Ralf



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Old 10th April 2003   #11
nate
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Hi Yago, these species do not appear to need anything special to breed. I drop them to around 9-10C for the winter and allow them back up to 18-20C for the summer. When I've had air conditioning problems in the past, occasionally their water has risen up to 26C. But even then, they did not seem affected and actively fed. I wouldn't encourage that long-term though.

They can be semi-aquatic to totally aquatic both in captivity and in the wild...some populations of E. bislineata live their entire life cycle 19m underwater! The weird thing to get used to is that these animals are lungless, so metamorphosed adults don't have to surface for air either. There is no need for a terrestrial stage after metamorphoses if you do not wish to provide one for them.

Ralf, they are neglected here too which is a shame. Many of them are quite colorful, easy to keep and breed, and come in many regional varieties and patterns. They become every bit as tame as newt species as well, which is a bit surprising because they're so tiny.



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Old 11th April 2003   #12
uwe
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Hi Nate,

Congratulations on that breeding! Must be the first on that species in captivity.
In addition the pictures are great!
Hope all stays well with the rearing of the youngsters.

Uwe



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Old 18th February 2004   #13
Erwin Bakker
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Hello Nate,

Because of your success, I put my Eurycea bislineata in a aquarium too. For almost a year, I had them in a semi aquatic setup, but although there were eggs visible for months, the females didn't lay there eggs. Now I hope for a success! Where did your sal's put the eggs?

Erwin



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Old 18th February 2004   #14
nate
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Hi Erwin, she deposited the eggs on the undersides of several different flat rocks. The photo above of the eggs is actually the rock taken out of the tank and upside down for photo purposes. My advice would be to stack some fairly flat rocks to create very small crevices/caves between them, about as wide as the salamanders' bodies. Paris Reilly has successfully bred bislineata for a couple years now, so maybe she'll chime in and tell you where her bislineata deposited the eggs. Good luck and keep us informed!



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