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Old 14th October 2017   #1
loglady007
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Post Axilotl finding and Hello

HI. I am new to this forum. I live in Colorado. I have found a cache of axilotl's in a pool, that has been abandoned for about 7 years or so. It has a cover and has grown algae plants that are about 4 feet tall. The pool is nearby - My daughter and her friend were exploring and one day noticed a strange creature- when they lifted part of a buttoned down pool cover that had come undone. They came home to report it, and I went there myself to have a look-see. I caught one in a net. The neighbor girl searched for what it could be. She found the description as an axolotl. From Mexico. We could only imagine at the moment, that perhaps someone had dumped an aquarium with a pair in to the pool. And we wondered about things like- how have these creatures survived winters in Colorado? Several months later (recently) we decided to let my daughter do a report on axilotl's for school. We thought we had the whole story- with research, and had information in it, such as "There are only about an estimated 700 left in the wild" We found out scientists were interested in them because of there regenerative properties. We knew they were rare , except what was found in captivity. We started thinking about calling a conservation group (still on my mind), in the interest of saving- who knows how many, in the pool. (100? More?- probably)
And then this story took a twist. Three days ago we went back to the pool to scoop up a couple for the report and show and tell effort. It had just snowed, and there was only one to be seen, since I couldn't reach down four or so feet with my arm and a net, we decided to return the following day. This time we saw 7 out in the open, and saw a few on the other side of the pool. There are only two places that the cover was loose and ineffectual, on opposite sides of the pool. We captured 2 in one area. And 1 on the other side. And then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum...(har, har- literal though)We spotted the oddest one we had ever seen. We both agreed that the marking looked like a tiger. It was swimming along the bottom green algae and didn't look like any we had seen to date It was in two feet of water (shallow side of pool that had opening) and I had to wait patiently for it to get closer to the side of the pool. When it finally did, I was able to reach out with my arm at full extension and capture it. I discovered pretty quickly that it was like the others, but didn't have gills. I wondered whether to keep it in the water with the others or not. We took it home. All four creatures. I wondered at the makeup. It is then where I find this story to take a different turn. I looked up Tiger Salamander (because it had Tiger stripes) I then found video's on line about "axilotls" and how they were supposed to be kin of Tiger Salamander's. I found video's of "mud puppies" (which looked Identical to axilotls) I looked up Tiger Salamander's in Colorado. Turns out they are the state's amphibian. (not so rare?) I learned that Tiger Salamanders lay eggs in the water and the large (6 and 7" "axilotl's" were larvae of the salamander's. That they are in fact - one in the same.) News to me. I found a conservation number and called someone in Wisconsin about it. He had interesting information about how the larvae don't change in to Tiger Salamanders at times. I saw that information about neoteny, before I called him- and he confirmed that if fish were absent, that this was usual, especially in a pond without fish (which is what we had in the pool environment) I found out that these larvae are everywhere in the United States (through Youtube videos) They are called Mudpuppies, Water Dogs, Mexican Walking Fish, Axilotl's- to me they all are the same, or at least Larvae of the Tiger Salamander. Not just related, and sometimes mate - but do mate- because they are the same creature. All very interesting. At any rate. Are these Tiger Salamanders really all that rare? If so - I think I hit the mother lode in one location and want to see what I can do to save them- there could be 100's in this pool. Soon the pool will be sold to a new owner and change is coming soon. They are starting to build homes all around. I am concerned for their fate. I also feel that perhaps they are common? I don't see the difference between what I saw as samples of larvae, as different from what seems to be found around the U.S.A. Maybe someone here knows better than me.
Happy to meet some Herpsters. I spent a lot of time in my native Maine, where I grew up, hunting salamanders- so I do have a special fondness for them.



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Old 15th October 2017   #2
Otterwoman
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Default Re: Axilotl finding and Hello

Wow, that’s quite an interesting story. I don’t know how rare they are, but we’d love to see pictures!



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Old 15th October 2017   #3
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Cool Re: Axilotl finding and Hello

My pictures are on my phone. I will see what I can do to get them on here.



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Old 15th October 2017   #4
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Wink Re: Axilotl finding and Hello

https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/...3&disp=safe&zw
Here are pictures of the Barred Tiger Salamander, and Larvae.



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Old 15th October 2017   #5
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Default Re: Axilotl finding and Hello

https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/...6b?projector=1



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Old 15th October 2017   #6
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Default Re: Axilotl finding and Hello

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui...1&disp=safe&zw



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