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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 2nd May 2010   #1
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Default Amazingly Hardy Larvae

This may be a little long-winded because I'm still in awe of these little guys. Here's the story:

A few months ago I began collecting native mosses from my part of NC. I set up a paludarium, half-moss and half-pond with an internal filter creating a 'waterfall' of sorts. Later, while combing through the woods again, I came across a couple nearly microscopic salamander larvae. Having read the laws about collecting nongame/unthreatened wildlife (to this day, I'm pretty positive that I'm good on them), I took two of them home with me. I introduced these guys to the aquatic part of my set-up, and a day or so later I realized I may have shocked the poor babies on the trip back.

Seeing one fairly unresponsive, I scolded myself for being rash and accidentally killing them in my eagerness, and moved on to tending to my mini-zoo of reptiles, axolotls and other creatures. Today was a cleaning day, so after doing countless waterchanges, feedings and whatnot..I decided to break down the terrarium. The waterfall kicked up the coco fiber, staining the water and generally making a mess, and after turning the filter off, the mosses 'fungused' over and dried out. I removed several large rocks and pieces of driftwood, and saw movement. Lo and behold, with 100% neglect, I had introduced enough duckweed and other water plants to start a food culture..and these guys have been secretly growing ever since!

They're about two inches from nose to tail, have fully developed limbs and appear as healthy as everything! Their gills are red/pinkish and they have speckled brown bodies. After looking through some photos of native wildlife, I also realize that these may be some type of Pseudotriton ruber/montanus larvae..which is doubly amazing because I've had my heart set on owning something from this genus for a while. As soon as I can, I'll post a photo..but I sold my camera a while back..(hard times!) I collected them, some of their pea gravel and tannin-filled water from the tank and intend to create a better habitat for them.

A few questions: I'll ask if you can ID them better once I have some photos up, and my other question is..should I start feeding them cyclops? It's the only thing I seem to be able to culture (I'm an amazingly adept daphnia-killer), but I'm not sure if they'll take to brine shrimp or microworms (which I receive Monday for cichlid fry).


~ Trying to save the world one stray at a time. ~
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