Ambystoma maculatum ( Breeding and Larval Development)

bellabelloo

Julia
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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

Day 40 and there have been no further hatching :/ It shouldn't be too long now.
 

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

Well done Julia, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some morphs for you. My 3 have shown no sign of breeding at all.

Dave
 

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

Thank you Dave :D They are very slowly hatching now.

I have no idea how old mine are, It is at least their second owner. They are kept out in my shed so they experience the seasonal temperatures. I do however move them into a cooler, shaded spot at the height of summer. Winter time they are insulated to protect them from the lowest temperatures, though this year I didn't need to. As soon as the males hop into water I move them into a bigger water filled tub and they did the rest. Hopefully next year yours will co-operate :)
 
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bellabelloo

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

The egg mass is slowly emptying and breaking down. It seems to attract a lot of the insects and they get trapped, making it all rather messy :eek: I have fished out about ten of the larvae to raise separately. The rest will stay in the tub.
 

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bellabelloo

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

Day 55 ish.

The larvae are still hatching, I suspect I may have about 10 or so still to pop. The water temperature is about 11 degrees celsius.
I had taken 10 larvae indoors to raise, but these started dying off, I suspect the water temperature was too warm. I have one lone survivor out of this group and it is now chilling outside in a shaded part of the garden.
The first few larvae in the tub have all disappeared. I spotted a few bodies in the moss, so suspect that despite what seems like oodles of food it may not have been enough, or maybe still too big.
When I noticed that the larvae were disappearing I placed the egg mass in a smaller tub. I now have over 20 larvae that are hopefully dining on micro worm. There is still a lot of daphnia etc swimming among them. These so far look ok with no deaths over the last week.
 

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bellabelloo

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

Approx. 1 week old now. Water temperatures vary from 5 degrees to 12 degrees Celsius. These are merrily eating micro worm and the smaller daphnia . The egg sac is still producing the odd larvae, this has been moved into an outdoor tub and I have seen maybe 3 or 4 larvae swimming in there.
 

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bellabelloo

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

I spotted one of the slightly older larva in the main tub.....and it has legs :D. The picture is rubbish.... but the legs are there.
 

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Re: Ambystoma maculatum

On day 84 I still had 3 larvae waiting to hatch. The egg mass had been submerged, but over the last few days gas bubbles had brought it back to the surface. All the eggs have now hatched.

Now some of the larvae are getting big enough for white worm, so yesterday they had their first serving and all was eaten within the hour. The sizes of the larvae vary greatly so I am still feeding daphnia and micro worm. Over the next few days I will separate the larger from the smaller.
 

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bellabelloo

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Some of these are now approx. 4 weeks old. Yesterday while peering at them I noticed some rear legs have developed.
 

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bellabelloo

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I now have these in three different 'tubs'.The first is a small tub that floats in the egg laying tub ( no plants visible in photo). The second is where the eggs where laid. This is an established tub that has been ticking over for a couple of years.( photo with plants) The last is an outdoor tub where I put the egg sack, the last few eggs hatched in here and I usually see two larvae... no photo's yet.
 

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Another week older. Some are now eating small chopped earthworms now
 

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bellabelloo

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Some of these are now over 2'' in length, there is a smaller number that are maybe 1/2 an inch. So far I have seen no missing limbs.
 

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bellabelloo

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Another week passes and over the last few days I have begun to notice that some are developing pale speckles along their sides. There may also be a little gill reduction.
The last photo is of one of the parents... looks like it is finding something amusing.
 

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bellabelloo

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I noticed that many are now becoming much darker...usually from the tail upwards. Also the eyes on some are becoming more prominent. With the change in colour, they are much harder to see, also they startle more easily.
 

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We noticed the same with ours. I'm fascinated reading your "journal", as we just went through the same thing, only with "surprise, they aren't tadpoles!", so obviously we didn't do the breeding thing here. Ours were raised in plastic critter carriers, in pond water, in our dining room, where the min temp has been 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They've thrived, and I can't understand why lol. All ours changed within the last 2 weeks, and the oldest started eating at a week. As larvae they are exclusively daphnia and whatever else was in the water, and then black worms. Now they're getting pieces of earthworms from our garden.
Today is release day for 6 of the most recently turned, we're raising the remaining 6.

I'm truly not trying to brag that we did so well... I'm flabbergasted! Not one died, and we don't know what we did right!
?
 

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I noticed a few have lost most of their gills now. Over the last few days I have tried to fish them out, but they have acquired small amphibious ninja powers! They are so fast, they shoot into the water as soon as I approach their tub :)
 

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bellabelloo

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The first has decided being on land is not so scary after all :D
 

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These little ones move incredibly fast, I managed to catch this one today. I suspect that most of the rest will morph over the next week or so. The second photo is of the first one to morph.
 

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bellabelloo

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The first five have now been moved into a soil based setup..I expect I won't be seeing so much of them now.
 

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The first five have now been moved into a soil based setup..I expect I won't be seeing so much of them now.

It's okay, I am sure will see them once a year....maybe. ;)

They look great! I really like the gold speckling on them. Also, what vine like plants is that that you have in that tank?
 
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