Ambystoma gracile Yellow Spots/tinge

Slinky

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Last year I received some Ambystoma gracile eggs. They had symbiotic algae much like Ambystoma maculatum, when they hatched, they were like any other larvae but sometimes would develop a green tinge and would look a bit fuzzy. This wasn’t because of poor water quality or high temperatures nothing like that. This never affected them at all and would come and go when they were very young larvae about a centimetre and a half in length. I always thought it was a fungus but after a while it proved not to be because they never died, and they kept eating and acting normally. I didn’t think much of it after realizing that they were okay. But now after they metamorphosed have I'm thinking maybe it is because they had symbiotic algae in their eggs, and it stuck around after they hatched, that’s just my best guess because it wasn’t fungus or anything.

They metamorphosed in late Autumn around November. I still have five and feed them nightcrawlers a few times every week. They have a weird yellow coloration on their back, I had never raised this species before so I thought it was something they got after metamorphosing but like the algae when they were larvae, it would come and go and be more prominent in some more than others. I quickly crossed out the idea of it being a fungus or them secreting poison and being defensive because they still act normal and are still slightly yellow all the time. I don’t know if them having symbiotic algae in their eggs is connected to either of these things, but my only other thought is that its skin condition. I have never seen a yellow Ambystoma gracile and I don’t know much about and I'm not experienced at all with salamander terrestrial or aquatic funguses and diseases.

I have experimented with different substrates thinking maybe they are absorbing something from the substrate but that hasn’t changed anything (I'm not using anything with fertilizers or chemicals). They are otherwise very healthy eat and poop regularly and act normal. I don’t think this is a health concern for them but something that I'm interested in and just am very curious about. I think it's weird for them to have both a green tinge when larvae and yellow spots/tinge when adults, that I have never heard about or seen, and it be a coincidence. But I also think it's very unlikely for it to be connected to them having symbiotic algae in their eggs, how would the algae adapt to them metamorphosing. What is I think is most likely is that the algae in the larval stage and the symbiotic algae in their eggs is connected but I have no idea about the yellow tinge/spots. Am I being ridiculous? I am very new to this species and if this is very common or obvious forgive me, I couldn’t find much information about it.
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Slinky

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I had also thought they looked like Dicamptodon tenebrosus but I live on Vancouver island so that is not even possible. Dicamptodon tenebrosus dont have symbiotic algae in their eggs, I think only two Ambystomids have that and the shape of the eggs was much different. I can see the resemblance, sort of but it is not possible
 
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Dulkas

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Not sure if you have found the answers on your own since this is a few months old so I'll share what I've found in case it's helpful. On the yellow coloration, this is a normal trait in the northern portion of Ambystoma gracile's range according to Petranka (1998), sometimes considered as the subspecies A. g. decorticatum (Snyder, 1963), so no need to worry about it being due to a fungus or disease. I definitely recommend Petranka's book as a reference text on salamanders if you have more questions like these, it covers all US and Canada species very thoroughly, providing the little details that have to be left out of standard field guides. As for the algae growing on the larvae, what I know of the symbiosis between Ambystoma maculatum and the alga Oophila amblystomatis is that the algal cells can be present in both the egg capsule and the embryos cells, and the algal cells may remain within the salamander's cells early on in the larval period (Kerney et al., 2011). I do not believe this was the case for your larvae since it sounds like it persisted intermittently to a much later stage and was present on the outside of the larvae, not within their cells. My best guess in your case is that it was a different alga than what was present in the eggs, possibly something similar to what may be found growing on snails and bottom-dwelling turtles though for that I do not have any certainty. Hope this helps!
 

Noodlethenewt

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Last year I received some Ambystoma gracile eggs. They had symbiotic algae much like Ambystoma maculatum, when they hatched, they were like any other larvae but sometimes would develop a green tinge and would look a bit fuzzy. This wasn’t because of poor water quality or high temperatures nothing like that. This never affected them at all and would come and go when they were very young larvae about a centimetre and a half in length. I always thought it was a fungus but after a while it proved not to be because they never died, and they kept eating and acting normally. I didn’t think much of it after realizing that they were okay. But now after they metamorphosed have I'm thinking maybe it is because they had symbiotic algae in their eggs, and it stuck around after they hatched, that’s just my best guess because it wasn’t fungus or anything.

They metamorphosed in late Autumn around November. I still have five and feed them nightcrawlers a few times every week. They have a weird yellow coloration on their back, I had never raised this species before so I thought it was something they got after metamorphosing but like the algae when they were larvae, it would come and go and be more prominent in some more than others. I quickly crossed out the idea of it being a fungus or them secreting poison and being defensive because they still act normal and are still slightly yellow all the time. I don’t know if them having symbiotic algae in their eggs is connected to either of these things, but my only other thought is that its skin condition. I have never seen a yellow Ambystoma gracile and I don’t know much about and I'm not experienced at all with salamander terrestrial or aquatic funguses and diseases.

I have experimented with different substrates thinking maybe they are absorbing something from the substrate but that hasn’t changed anything (I'm not using anything with fertilizers or chemicals). They are otherwise very healthy eat and poop regularly and act normal. I don’t think this is a health concern for them but something that I'm interested in and just am very curious about. I think it's weird for them to have both a green tinge when larvae and yellow spots/tinge when adults, that I have never heard about or seen, and it be a coincidence. But I also think it's very unlikely for it to be connected to them having symbiotic algae in their eggs, how would the algae adapt to them metamorphosing. What is I think is most likely is that the algae in the larval stage and the symbiotic algae in their eggs is connected but I have no idea about the yellow tinge/spots. Am I being ridiculous? I am very new to this species and if this is very common or obvious forgive me, I couldn’t find much information about it. View attachment 83723View attachment 83724View attachment 83725View attachment 83726View attachment 83727
If you don’t mind my asking where / who did you receive the eggs from?
 

Otterwoman

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It just doesn't look like a gracile. It doesn't have those deep costal grooves.
 
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