D. tenebrosus breeding behaviour question

MarioR

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Hey guys,

Since one year I keep 3 D. tenebrosus which I received as 12cm (5'') small larvae. Today they measure 25cm (10'') and are still growing very well. They come from Oregon.
They are voracious eaters and very interesting to watch.

The only problem I got is, to get to know who they are living in their natural environment.
So I hope maybe anyone watched them in nature and can tell me something I couldn't find in literature.
The facts I'm most interested in are:
1. When do they breed (temperature, daytime, month)?
2. Where does courtship take place and what are they doing exactly?
3. Where do females lay eggs?
4. Has somebody ever measured water temperatures over the year?
5. Maybe you also got pictures that may help?

I read books, talked to couple of people, and searched the internet, but those facts are nearly missing completely.

If you are interested in pictures or something else from me, just ask.

Thank you in advance!
Mario
 

MarioR

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Ok, where shall I start?:wacko:

Tank:

6225542185_91dec81d20_b.jpg



Wellness area: Whirlpool

5797100032_8b0035a2cd_b.jpg



Lots of space for delicious prey:
6317877367_bb1c57cd80_b.jpg


...as you can see;)
(Pachnoda larva)

6318404152_c3791ff71f_b.jpg




6317886123_e85deb383d_z.jpg



They really eat everything: Night crawlers, fish (sometimes they catch more than 40 guppys per night), crayfish, waxworms (20 or so/each), crickets, mice and even pellets (when they are hungry).
And they are always hungry. Per week each of them can eat 20 waxworms, 3 big night crawlers and 1 smelt without problems. :eek:

Greets,
Mario
 

otolith

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First off, your tenebrosus look amazing! Are they all neotenic or have some of your group become terrestrial?

In my area there are both D. tenebrosus and D. ensatus. I start finding the adults around breeding streams in February-April after the majority of the heavy winter rains. This is the only time of year I ever find adults actively walking during the day, in certain areas I find multiple adults in the same place year after year. Water temperatures are usually 40-50F in the winter in most of these creeks, during the summer the water temperature might get up to 60F. Unfortunately I don't have any first hand knowledge of their breeding and courtship activity.

Your tank looks great but does not closely replicate the streams they inhabit in the wild. Throughout their range they like cold, coastal and mountain streams with very cold water and little to no vegetation. A tank setup with primarily smooth river stones, larger rocks and pieces of wood with a bit of current on one side would be a much more naturalistic setup.

This link has some good info about their breeding/courtship as well as some great habitat photos : The link below has some excellent habitat photos which might help as well: Dicamptodon tenebrosus - Coastal Giant Salamander

I hope this was helpful! Again, amazing animals you have and best of luck breeding them.
 

MarioR

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Thanks a lot, Perry!

Yes, my three individuals remain paedomorphic till now. I hope they metamorph some day.
I have some plants and a good filter (outside) to guarantee "good" water. I know it is not that natural and there is much more organic stuff in their tank, than in nature, but I can't change water all day long, so this is my compromise.
I got lots of those clay tubes (those this word make sense?) because they like it a lot. They also got two larger hiding places under and behind those tubes (about 30x20x7cm = 6x4x1 1/2'')), but they use those tubes more regularely. In a few weeks all my newts will move to another place and the Dicamptodon get a bigger tank (around 300 liters), so I can set it up with more flat stones and wood.
They got a circulation pump which produces some current ;) (forget the filter you can see on the picture)

And something I can add: They seem to be quite temperature resistant. Until 68-70°F they behave completely normal, at higher temperatures they often breathe air and don't seem to be happy any more. Thats what I observed this summer.

Thanks for your information about the activity of the adults. I will replicate that as good as possible. Thanks for the link, too!

Best regards,
Mario
 

MarioR

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Hey, it's me again.

Since yesterday my Dicamptodon got a new tank. It measures 120x40x50cm (240 litres) and they now got lots more hiding places and better temperatures beacuse all my tanks were moved into another room in the basement.
6568773019_696666ef33_b.jpg


During the next days I will also collect some more stone plates (correct english explanation ist slab?) so make bigger caves on the ground.

Right now they have 11°C but the temperature will sink down to about 7°C during winter with natural day and night simulation.

This morning I also saw two of them sitting togehter in in one cave. That was absolutely amazing for me, because normally they bite each other immidiately. I didn't want to disturb them so I left them alone. Right now one of them is walking around in the tank (look at the picture!) without any lesions...

Greetings and Merry Christmas!
Mario
 

Neotenic_Jaymes

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Great pics! I would love to try and breed some of these one day. Thanks for sharing.
 
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That tank is awesome! Dicamptodon tenebrosus is one of my new favorite species, and I've been obsessing over/doing research on them lately.
 

Aneides

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Dicamptodon are common in forested streams in the Northwest. In one stream in northern California, I found more than 20 individuals in an hour. They like well shaded areas and a readily available source of prey. Look for insect larvae, Rhyacotriton (Torrent Salamanders), and other small prey items. Your setup looks great, with lots of areas to hide. In the wild, one stream had at least a small larvae every meter. They like cover under rocks primarily, but can be found under stream banks and submerged debris in streams. They most certainly like cool water temperatures, never exceeding 75 F.
Hope this helps

Aneides
 

MarioR

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Hi,

well, Rhyacotriton are too rare to feed to my Dicamptodon here in Europe ;)
But with fish, night crawlers, Pachnoda larvae, snails and Gammarus I have a good variety of prey items.
Temperature sounds good. In summer temperature never exceeds 21°C. At higher temperatures Dicamptodon begin to get uneasy.

Thanks you for providing information!

Greetings,
Mario
 

Aneides

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Sorry, I meant that in the wild Dicamptodon would consume Rhyacotriton. Even here in the United States, I have never come across any Rhyacotriton for sale. Actually, Rhyacotriton sp. are one of my favorite types of salamanders, so I would never feed them. Insect larvae are a excellent choice for captive Dicamptodon, so your speciman should be doing great.

Aneides
 

MarioR

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Right now I can tell you the following:

We succeeded in watching and documenting the breeding behaviour of Dicamptodon tenebrosus in captivity.
A friend and I will give a lecture on the annual Caudata meeting of the AG Urodela in Gersfeld, Germany.

I'm sure you can read an article about this topic in german soon. I hope a english version will follow this year too ;)

Grüße,
Mario
 

otolith

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That is very exciting Mario!

Did you end up getting viable eggs/larvae?
 

MarioR

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Sorry Perry, but I can't tell you now, this will be part of our lecture and article. After this is published I'll tell you all ;)
 

Lisa 8

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Hi Mario, Have you published yet? I will be looking for the article!



Right now I can tell you the following:

We succeeded in watching and documenting the breeding behaviour of Dicamptodon tenebrosus in captivity.
A friend and I will give a lecture on the annual Caudata meeting of the AG Urodela in Gersfeld, Germany.

I'm sure you can read an article about this topic in german soon. I hope a english version will follow this year too ;)

Grüße,
Mario
 

MarioR

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Hi Lisa,

I wait for the new "Amphibia" to be published soon. This magazine contains my article in german.
Unfortunately the englisch translation isn't even in work.

Regards,
Mario
 

Lisa 8

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Thanks Mario! All I need is a translator. :eek:
 

Lisa 8

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Are you referring to Amphibia-Reptilia?
 
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