Question: BBC Filming - Axolotl behaviours?

AbiFilm

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Hi everyone,

I work at the BBC and am thinking about the potential of filming axolotls as part of a new series. I am just wondering what interesting behaviour they show and thought you guys would be the perfect people to ask! I know one of the most interesting things about axolotls is their ability to regenerate limbs – however what I am interested in is their courtship display behaviours and behaviours towards eggs (for example behaviours such as folding individual eggs within a leaf as other species do).

It would be great to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much.

Abi
 

Tinamlat

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The only courtship behavior I can think of off the bat would be that the male will nudge the female’s hind end with his nose to stimulate her letting down eggs to be fertilized. Essentially she will walk around leaving a trail for him to then fertilize. I don’t have any personal experience with mating but that’s what I’ve heard. Also Axolotls are known for their cute little yawns, that might be something you’d be interested in featuring. Another unique feature to Axolotls is that they stay in the neonatal phase Unlike most salamanders, and are fully aquatic, never leaving the water (except for rare cases).
 

Kitan

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Close! What happens is the male leaves little sperm packets lying about and then nudges the female around to each packet in kind of a dance. When she is over the packet, she takes in the packets to fertilize her eggs. Then 12 to 72 hours later, she will lay up to 1,500 eggs (averaging between 150 and 450), individually, pretty much anywhere :p In wild, leucistic, and melanoid axolotls, these eggs will be black, while in albino, gold, and copper the eggs will be white. Mom has literally no maternal instinct and axolotls snap at pretty much anything that moves, so they will eat their young if they are not removed. Likewise, juvenile axolotls are well know for their cannibalistic tendencies, resulting in missing limbs if they are not separated until 5 inches in length.

For interesting behaviour, they seem MUCH more social and aware than say a fish would be, recognizing individual people and swimming up to meet them, even poking the tip of their snoots out to say hi. Mine will also swim over and rest in my hand....before trying to eat me XD Axolotl's actually ingest their food through sucking in water very quickly and, while they technically have teeth, they are more used for detaining prey as they dont have the jaw strength to actually hurt a human with them.

Another cute behaviour that goes along with the yawning, is that juveniles will go to the surface for air occasionally and can produce an adorable sound called barking as they quickly suck the air through the water's surface.

A very interesting trait, in addition to the regeneration you mentioned, is that they are one of the few creatures to exhibit neoteny, making them distinct from many other amphibians. Like most amphibians, they have a juvenile form adapted to water, but they never reach their adult form and, thus will spend their entire lives in the water. They do have rudimentary lungs, but these are under-developed and used as a secondary means of getting oxygen, with the primary being, of course, their branchial gills.
 

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As for "behaviour towards eggs", I think there is close to none; at least from my experience.
The female tries to attach the eggs to suitable surface (plants, decorations, whatever else is in the tank), but after that they don't seem to be paying any attention.
When mine ran out of plants, she just attached the eggs to the substrate. Their behaviour didn't seem to change.
Once the eggs started to move, I'm even sure she ate some of them.

Courtship behaviour can be interesting. The female releases pheromones that alert males to her willingness. The response from the males is fairly interesting, with bright red gills and frantic swimming around.
They plant packets of sperm on the ground and then try to direct the female towards those - there is indeed a lot of pushing snouts into stomachs involved. Depending on the eagerness of the female, it can be quite a silly struggle.

I should mention that I've seen this courtship "dance" in my all-male tank as well, though without the sperm or the eggs. Sometimes they just get it in their heads to start pushing others around.
 
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    Nice! Also, from what I can see you have an amazing setup! What species?
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    S. S. Gigliolli
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    Ooo nice!
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    Thank you! I tried to share the video but unsuccessful. You can see it on my IG story @jnerdx
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    Cool! I just have a tiger and a long tail, who we are trying to find as he ESCAPED INTO MY ROOM!
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    Hey y'all, recently my juvenile axolotl's tail has been floating and can swim down but his tail lifts to an angle and I believe that it is stressing him out. He gets in between his plants to balance himself and I am cleaning out the bottom of the tank with my baster. I believe I overfed him and he also may have eaten many air bubbles. He's been like this for nearly 1 1/2 days.
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    What would be the best thing to do ?
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    Should be. Hot glue is good when dry I believe, just don't let it get too hot and you should be good. Most super glues are good as well just watch out for flume warnings
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    Ok, thanks! I am going to glue together the shale I mentioned.
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  • Kwags:
    hello, I am currently tubbing my axolotl due to cycling the tank. I have read different answers on how many times to do a 100% water change a day when tubbing. Some say once and some say twice. I just want to actually ask and get answers for myself. Thank
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  • Murk:
    As often as you need to keep the water clean! Since you´re cycling, I assume you have a test kit. Just test a few times to see how long it takes for your ammonia to go up, and as soon as it does, change the water.
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  • Kwags:
    Yes,I have the master test kit. Thank you! So just test the water in the tub that my axolotl is in now to gauge off of for changing?
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  • Murk:
    That´s the most accurate. Depends on the size of the tub etc. - you just want to make sure the water is always clean
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  • Kwags:
    When little axolotls are tubbed is it common for them to get a little more spunky then usual? Water temps around 64-65 F and has been changed today with prime added
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  • Murk:
    Uh. That depends on your definition of "spunky"?
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    @Kwags, how big?
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  • HalfDrunkToast:
    my baby hes tubed and hes a wild child xD
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    Swimming like crazy. A little more pep in his step. I think about 3 inches.
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  • faebugz:
    Hi does anyone know if jungle fungus clear is safe to use for my axolotl? She has some either fungus or bacterial growth on her fillibrae and maybe body and I read that's good to use if you aren't sure if the problem is bacterial or fungal
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    I have not heard of that before.
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  • EasternRomioi3:
    That jungle fungus clear. I've been dealing with some fungus with my axolotl on and off this summer. The Holtsfreter solution and water changes just seem to do the trick after a bit
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    Where do you get the holtsfreter solution? I've been upping water changes but salt bath seems to be more stressful/harmful than beneficial because she does not like to be caught!
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    Anyone know how to harden soft water without raising pH?
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