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Fire Salamanders (Salamandra) The first salamanders described, this diverse genus of species and subspecies can be found throughout Europe and the Near-East. They are the animals that first come to mind when most people hear the word "salamander".

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Old 18th May 2005   #1
mark
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I have a couple questions regarding various salamandra. My first question is about breeding. I am wondering if it is likely that my salamandra would breed without first altering temperatures. The reason I ask is because I do not want to get into breeding at this time, and I do not currently use a water dishes in my tanks. In the future years however I would like to try to breed salamandra.

My other question is about combining subspecies in the same enclosures (NOT for breeding purposes). I know it would be a bad idea to combine a large and small subspecies together, but what about similar sized ones? (Obviously combining large gallaica and smaller ones like fastuosa/bernadezi would be a very bad idea for example). But what about similar sized animals like s.s.salamandra and s.s.beschkovi? Or maybe fastuosa & bernadezi? I would like to expand my types of salamandra, but I would rather have a couple large elaborate enclosures rather than several smaller, single-subspecies tanks. I will avoid combining if there is danger however.
Please let me know your thoughts.



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Old 18th May 2005   #2
rubén
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Hi Mark

to my opinion is difficult breed salamanders if you can't offer or simulate some of the cyclical changes ( regarding humidity and temperature, but mainly light hours ) that exists on his environment.

And... about mix subspecies, even if have similar size, it's always a dangerous choice. There are risks like interbreeding, different level of toxicity between subspecies and then, different environmental exigencies.

In spite of all, I think that S. s. fastuosa and bernardezi could live together, but my advice is not to do it ( interbreeding risk is high )

Greets



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Old 18th May 2005   #3
jennifer
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If you plan to breed them in future years, it would be unwise to combine them. We recently had someone here report 3-4 years of offspring from a Salamandra female that had been without a mate since the first of those years. In other words, she was able to store the sperm for years.

Here is the old thread of this discussion:
http://www.caudata.org/forum/messages/13/7332.html

(Message edited by jennewt on May 18, 2005)



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Old 18th May 2005   #4
francesco
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yes I agree with Ruben
never mix different subspecies mainly because you could end up making a "genetic mess". Salamandras mate on land so if u keep different subspecies together they'd interbreed easily



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Old 18th May 2005   #5
ingo
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Hi Mark,

<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>Mark Sobczak wrote on Wednesday, 18 May, 2005 - 02:45 :</font>

&quot;I am wondering if it is likely that my salamandra would breed without first altering temperatures. The reason I ask is because I do not want to get into breeding at this time, and I do not currently use a water dishes in my tanks.&quot;<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>

Although usually it is necessary to lower temperature in winter to be successful in breeding, you can not be sure that they won´t breed if you don´t change temperature.
So you can´t securely prevent them from breeding by this.

Greets, Ingo



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Old 19th May 2005   #6
mark
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Thanks for the replies.
As you can probably guess, my main reason for asking if they might still breed even without temperature or light changes was because I was interested in combining subspecies. Obviously from the responses, breeding cannot be guaranteed to be prevented, so I will not combine any due to the risk of interbreeding (and other risks listed).
I must say it is a little disappointing though, considering how nice a large tank might look with a couple different types of fire salamanders.

Here's another question since you all seem to know a lot about these sals over in Europe. Why are they not considered different species? Especially with the different sizes and even toxins...I thought that in order to consider an animal the same species, they must have been proven to successfully breed - and with fertile offspring....Maybe this decision was made on more of a microscopic level?



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Old 19th May 2005   #7
ingo
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Yes, there are a lot of criteria, which make difference between species/subspecies. On one hand, there are morphologic differences, which have been described for centuries. However, in the last years genetic examinations have become more important; so you can find big genetic differences between species, which have not so big morphologic differences, e.g Salamandra atra and Salamandra lanzai. (Have a look at pictures here and
here.)

In the other thread you opened regarding S.s.fastuosa Ruben has already posted an article, from which you can obtain closer information.



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Old 19th May 2005   #8
rubén
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Mark

I agree with Ingo. This is just one of the hottest topics of the last years between enthusiasts and herpetologists.

Genetic studies have become as the first element to nominate a new species/subspecies in the general taxonomy; making for example, cytogenetic analysis of the chromosomes, and immunology studies. Morphology and colour pattern, and intrasubspecific differentiations are becoming secondary elements of valuation. Salamandra s. bernardezi &amp; fastuosa can be really similar in morphology, as well as Salamandra s. beschkovi &amp; salamandra, but genetic differences are strong.



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