Breeding mavortium ( breeding tiger salamanders )

henk_wallays

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After a first try out last year (of which I raised 4 larvae) I have retried using the same tactis this year and did actually get a 2nd reproduction with A. mavortium. I'm currently waiting to see if the eggs are fertilised , if they are then I will intend to rear more of them then I did last year. Hope to make some shots of larvae in a few weeks ... ( to be continued)
 

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That's great news Henk.

What type of set up did you keep the adults in? What were the temps/photoperiod changes like?

I can't wait to see pictures.
 

henk_wallays

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I inten to document this in a short article, but I keep my animals in an unheated gardenhouse (frostfree) and in the spring I just set them out in a large watertank ( nog land). The setoff for breeding is a mixture of low temperatures , higher humidity and more light
 

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Hi Henk,

Congratulations on this. I am very keen to hear about your technique in detail. Also, would you consider writing an English language article for our magazine please? There will be an issue by June but we could sure use another 2-3 articles. It doesn't have to be very long.

Again, congratulations and we look forward to the photos ;).
 

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Hi Henk, Congratulation! I am also eagerly awaiting your article. I also have succeeded in bleeding A.mavortium, which Tim reported before in this forum. John, sorry for not writing my article, because I hesitated writing in my poor English. I successfully bred A. mavortium two years ago ( F1 to F2, second time). The date of these photos is wrong, which I didn`t notice when taking.



 

John

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Mister Masai, thank you very much for joining the forum. I cannot express how much I have looked forward to hearing from you :grin:. To my eyes your English is very good ;). Congratulations on your latest breeding successes. I am wondering if you could give us some details of how you made them breed please - many of us are very curious indeed.
 

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It took 2 hours(!) to post that.
I am eager to answer your questions. But I am afraid of answering accurately.
 

John

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It took 2 hours(!) to post that.
I am eager to answer your questions. But I am afraid of answering accurately.
I understand. Please take your time in answering and don't be afraid to be brief.

My main question is how do you cause the mavortium to be receptive to breeding?
 

henk_wallays

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Nice to see a Japanese breeder and keeper Mamisan , as you know I am somebody with a large interest in keeping and breeding Hynobius and Ambystoma ...

Regarding A. mavortium the actual keeping and breeding is quite simple. I keep the adults in a large wodden box filled with forrest litter and stumbs of rotten wood and moss (like a bottom of a forrest floor) and feed them mainly with worms and slugs. They overwinter in my garden house at temperatures between 0 and 5°C (some weeks or even months) in a more or less dark setup. Then when the first spring sunlight peaks around I put them in a large tank with rocks and water (no landarea) and approx 20 to 40 cm of water. Sometimes first the males , then the much thicker females. In the water I have various floating waterweeds and even some twigs. The animals lay their little eggs on the rocks, twigs and plants (the eggs are so little that they are difficult to see) more or less like axolotls. At this moment I am looking if the eggs are fertilised (I'm not 100% sure yet).

So , and this will nog be a surprise, a good breeding is influenced by temperature, increase in light and humidity / water. Also the animals need to be in good breeding condition, which can be obtained by keeping them cool during the fall and winter while continuing to feed them. In this way they can store the supplements and can later re-use them in the energy consuming reproduction process...

In nature reproduction starts with the fall of rains. In captivity this can be simulated by either spraying water in the tank (the soft touch) or by putting the animals directly into the water (the hard way). I only use the hard ay for robust animals. For (pond type) Hynobius this way of working also prooves to work . I have used it so far with good success in several Ambystoma and Hynobius species of which I have valid breeding groups. I hope to extend some of my Ambystoma groups in the coming season since it mainly contains 1 or 2 animals of some species (texanum, jefferonianum, maculatum, gracile). It's not going to be easy but I will at least try to get some.
 

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Very interesting, Henk. Thank you for the information and detail.

From my own observations of the mavortium on the southern High Plains, breeding is mainly stimulated by humidity rather than temperature - the mavortium will breed at almost any time of the year except during freezing weather. They have adapted to this routine because the southern High Plains are arid most of the year and breeding must be accomplished within a short time of rain fall. There is a real time limit because the temporary pools used for breeding will dry within 3 months of rainfall, often a month or more sooner. Rainfall significant enough to fill ponds only occurs a couple of times during a year.

I have some animals from a population of that race and I have a feeling that keeping them very dry for a month or two and then a sudden humidity/moisture increase would be enough to trigger breeding i.e. a lot less elaborate preparation would be necessary. This is an experiment I intend to try in the near future.
 

henk_wallays

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Well john I have seen some videos on you tube explaining about this tiger life style and followed it with great care. Keep us in touch of your breedfing experiences. Maybe one of the 3 components has a hgher impact then the other , it woudl then be interesting to see if you can succeed in breeding the tigers in other time periods then the usual breeding seasons. Also in axolotls breeding can be readyly induced , but there seems to be a period (june-july) where at least I don't seem to be ableto breed them at all (despite temeprature and light changes ...). I will see how it works out here and eh... shouldn't you be sleeping right now ?
 

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shouldn't you be sleeping right now ?
Sleep is for the weak! Seriously though, I was working on a project for the site and when I get going I just can't stop myself. It's this: http://www.caudata.org/swf.html

It's visible to guests/people who are not logged in, at the top of caudata.org pages.
 

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Henk, do your Ambystoma feed at 0 - 5°C? I tried cooling A.maculatum at that temperature this year and whilst the salamanders remained quite active their food did not (worms, slugs, crickets, woodlice etc). After ~two months some were quite thin and I abandoned my plan of putting them in an outdoor enclosure. Do yours maintain a good weight throughout the winter?
 

henk_wallays

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And I always thought I got weak when I didn't sleep... ;-) I understand what you mean John, ""the thrill that drives on to accomplish once one sets off""' as to speak. Well for once it is good weather and I will now start to break out my salamander house (gardenhouse) and install some outdoor enclosures... then rebuild the interior (about 20 tanks to do) so that'll keep me busy for a while. But I will sleep however ...before I get to weak !
 

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Mark indeed my animals do retain their weight and I threw in worms and other food which I didn't find back later (I don't observe them eating ...) . So no, I do not have problems feeding them or losing weight ( at least so far.. I'll keep my fingers crossed ....).
 

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I am very glad to see John and Henk.
My 1st success; 10 years or more ago, I got 4 WC pairs (after that i added 2 WC males) in the fallen. I kept them in the tank (120cm x 45cm). The landarea (70cm x 45cm) and the waterarea (50cm x 45cm) are separated by the plastic board. The water depth is 16cm. The water was filtered by external filter and the filtered water was showered directly to the water surface. The soil of landarea is " Kanuma-tuti" (tuti means soil in English. Kanuma is one province in Japan, and we can buy the soil at every Japanese gardening store. Please see the photo which Tim showed before in this forum ). One male soon went into the waterarea and stayed there until the breeding season started in the spring of the next year. The tank in my garden house was set by the opened window, by which they could feel easily the change of atmosphere outdoor. There was no direct sunshine. The temperature of my garden house goes down below 5°C but never below 0°C in the winter. When the spring came and the temperature of the waterarea became 13°C one day in March, I noticed that one female was in the waterarea and the sperm mass attached to her cloaca. I went home at night and saw her laying eggs. Since the night before the day, it had started raining heavily.
 

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Thank you very much Mister Masai. That is very useful information. It matches quite well with Henk's observations. The part I find most interesting is this:

Since the night before the day, it had started raining heavily.

I look forward to trying my experiment :).
 

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Hi, John
I wish your experiment would be successful. The breeding way possibly depends upon the place where salamanders were caught, as you point.

After my 1st success, I thought temperature and increase in humidity might be important for breeding of my WC colony. And then, all the salamanders involving many F1 young adults were kept in "Kanuma-tuti" terrarium tanks, too dry for the other species to survive. In my next trial, when the spring came and the water temperature rose up to 13°C, I put the WC animals directly into the water (that is Henk`s hard way). They were just eager to get out of the water, and I stopped that. But the next "hard way" trial would be possibly successful. Henk, how many eggs did you get this year? One female can lay about 700-800 eggs in good condition. In my latest breeding success, a F1 female laid only 50-60 eggs. This was the first case. I don`t know exactly the reason the number of eggs was small.

My 3rd trial was successful. The way was the same as in my 1st trial. The same pair started to breed when the water temperature rose up to 13°C. But, all the animals did not take part in breeding. In this point, my way is not perfect.
 

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Hi, John
I wish your experiment would be successful. The breeding way possibly depends upon the place where salamanders were caught, as you point.

After my 1st success, I thought temperature and increase in humidity might be important for breeding of my WC colony. And then, all the salamanders involving many F1 young adults were kept in "Kanuma-tuti" terrarium tanks, too dry for the other species to survive. In my next trial, when the spring came and the water temperature rose up to 13°C, I put the WC animals directly into the water (that is Henk`s hard way). They were just eager to get out of the water, and I stopped that. But the next "hard way" trial would be possibly successful. Henk, how many eggs did you get this year? One female can lay about 700-800 eggs in good condition. In my latest breeding success, a F1 female laid only 50-60 eggs. This was the first case. I don`t know exactly the reason the number of eggs was small.

My 3rd trial was successful. The way was the same as in my 1st trial. The same pair started to breed when the water temperature rose up to 13°C. But, all the animals did not take part in breeding. In this point, my way is not perfect.
In your water area, which has a depth of 16cm, are there rocks and plants? Do the animals stay continuously in the water or seek to get on a dry area and then periodically go into the water? On what were the eggs laid or attached to? Fascinating!
 

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Hi,jan
In water area, there are a pipe of external filter, a driftwood to bridge tow areas, plastic strips and heater covers to fan out them. Eggs are attached to all of them.
The animals stay continuously in water area until the breeding season ends.
 
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