Banded newt with drooping jowls

froggy

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No, this is normal, although this animal looks particularly Churchillian! Lots of newts develop larger labial regions when they become aquatic; it's to do with creating suction for feeding under water.

Do you have any males?

C
 

Mark

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That's the normal jowl shape for female Ommatotrition. The jowls develop during the aquatic phase. They are not as pronounced during the terrestrial phase. She looks quite young still.

Here's one of mine showing similar triangular jowl shape.



Chris beat me to it! Goddamit! ;)
 

peter5930

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Thanks, both of you; it's the largest and most aquatic of my banded newt juveniles, and I hadn't seen the drooping jowels look on the others, so I was worried that it was caused by an infection. I have 8 of my own, plus 6 that I'm looking after for mr cyclone, so I'm sure there'll be a mix of genders. The others aren't as far along as that one, so I can't tell what they'll turn out to be yet.

Here's a video of one of the others:

banded newt out of hibernation (audiofix) - YouTube
 

froggy

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They look like they are doing well! Do you have any pics of the enclosure? Is it inside or outside and how is it designed?

Mark: mwahahaha I am a slightly faster newt nerd than you.
 

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banded newt setup (Ommatotriton ophryticus) - YouTube

This is the setup I use for my banded newts. It's outdoors (In Glasgow, Scotland), with acrylic covers to keep birds from eating the newts, and the newts are kept in the tank year-round. Filtration is provided by a an airlift running off of a central distribution manifold and pulling the water through a gravel-filled compartment. The gravel has a layer of cobbles on top to prevent it from being ingested by newts. The air pump is in the garage, and delivers air to the manifold via a garden hose, which is connected to the pump at one end and the manifold at the other with a liberal application of hot-melt glue.

The tank has a terrestrial section formed by a plastic box weighted with gravel and filled with coconut fibre. The side of the box near the base has been drilled and a length of 4mm PVC airline has been passed through and hot-melt glue has been used to seal around the airline to make the plastic box watertight again. The airline then connects to a similar piece of airline that passes through the wall of the overflow pipe in the aquatic section. This system allows the terrestrial area to freely drain when it rains, so it doesn't fill up and become waterlogged.

The plastic box rests on a pair of small plastic food containers which have had large holes cut in them to allow newts to pass in and out of them. This provides shelter for the newts, and also avoids the possibility of an anoxic region forming under the plastic box and poisoning the newts through a release of hydrogen sulphide gas.
 

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I've noticed dropping jowls in my newts for years. It seems common amongst stout bodied newts. Most of my adult or subadult T. karelinii have had dropping jowls at some point in their lives. For me they developed the larger jowls during their 1st year as subadults when the temperatures start to drop. It seems the smaller ones in the groups develop the larger jowls that can last for 1-2 years.

Species I've had or have with enlarged jowls are T. marmoratus, T. karelinii, T artzeni, T. dobrogicus, C. orientalis, and maybe a couple others.

All 3 of my Triturus artzeni males had them their 1st year. The smallest out of the group still has his large jowls. I guess in some biological way he developed the jowls to compete with the larger males, assuming the jowls help the newt to eat more effectively.
 

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