Breeding Spotted Salamanders in the KC area

Kansamander

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I was at a pet shop in Kansas City Kansas today, and they had a couple of spotted salamanders for $40 a piece that they claimed were being supplied to them captive-bred by a breeder in the area who also breeds axolotls.

I'm inclined to think they're full of it, and they're selling wild-caught salamanders. But I'm really hoping I'm wrong! Anybody know of anybody in the Kansas City area who breeds spotted salamanders?

Also, here is a Charming little small mouth I found last night in the rain munching on earthworms. Returned to the field.
 

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John

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Love the texanum. I think you're 100% correct about the wild caught part.
 

Kansamander

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Thanks! I really like them as well. If raised from larvae, they stay more social and less timid. I'm going to see if they remain neotenic this year by catching a couple of larvae and keeping the water well oxygenated, cool and clean. I'll post when I've started - the eggs I thought were salamanders turned out to be boreal chorus frogs :D

I was figuring they were wild caught - if nothing else, they'd have more than two for sale and/or I'd have seen them advertised through other channels. Pet store had them on pea gravel in a 50/50 aquatic/ land tank. It was obvious that they knew nothing about their care. The lady in charge said they were captive bred by "some guy" who she didn't know, and was real uneasy when I was asking questions. I offered her 20 for the pair of them, but she wouldn't budge on price.

I'm half tempted to walk in, take them and walk out. Probably should check Kansas law first to make sure they would have a reason to not want the police involved.
 

Herpin Man

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Since spotted salamanders aren't known to occur in Kansas, I don't see why law enforcement or Kansas Department of Wildlife would want to become involved. Unless you actually steal them yourself, as you suggested; then I'm sure the police would get involved.
As I understand it, very few people in the U.S. have ever bred this species in captivity. But if they are wild caught, as long as they were taken from a legal and sustainable population, the pet store hasn't done anything illegal or even unethical by selling them. I don't agree with selling WC as CB, but if that's what's going on here, most likely they were misrepresented by the person who sold them to the pet store in the first place.
 

Kansamander

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I want to believe in the good faith of the pet store owners, but when I expressed amazement at someone captive breeding spotted salamanders in the area, and asked if I could have his contact info to get some tips on how he does it, the manager completely shut down and said 'uh.. I don't know his name'. So this shop gets their axolotls and spotted salamanders ("captive bred") from someone who they don't know the name of.....


Herpin Man's right though - I had to check the law about native vs non-native. It just made me cringe to see the condition they were kept in, and I still find it highly unethical to advertise a wild-caught specimen as a "captive bred" specimen and selling it for $40, when captive breeding Ambystomids is so rare and labor intensive.


So I've contented myself to grumble about it, and that's about it.
 
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