Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus auriculatus) Care guide?

Reyes

New member
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Country
United States
Hi, I'm considering to buy a dusky salamander but I do not know the care.
 

PDONTnAMBY

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Location
Illinois
Country
United States
Hi Reyes, welcome! Desmognathus auriculatus, the southern dusky salamander, is rare even among hobbyists who keep native US salamanders. They have very patchy distribution and are legally protected in most parts of their range, and as their lifestyle is specialized for thick muck in floodplains, they wouldn't make particularly interesting captives. I'm guessing you saw this on one of the big reptile and amphibian retailer websites, since I'm not aware of anyone on this forum selling auriculatus. Please know that, while the prices on those sites can be attractive, their salamanders are often very unhealthy and (apart from axolotls) nearly always wild-caught, with highly unsustainable and sometimes even illegal collecting practices.

I'd strongly recommend buying your salamander from a reputable breeder; there are a decent number of species for sale in the Advertisements section of this forum, and people are generally happy to recommend breeders they know for harder-to-find species. You will pay considerably more than at the big retailer websites, but as I mentioned before, the salamanders from those big retailers are very often unhealthy—there's a very good chance that if you buy a $15 salamander with $25 shipping from one of those sites, it will arrive sickly and, even with the best care you can give, die within a couple weeks. Better to pay $50–$100 + shipping for an ethically-sourced salamander that will live than to throw away $40-$50 on an unethically-sourced salamander that dies in a few weeks.
 

Reyes

New member
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Country
United States
Hi Reyes, welcome! Desmognathus auriculatus, the southern dusky salamander, is rare even among hobbyists who keep native US salamanders. They have very patchy distribution and are legally protected in most parts of their range, and as their lifestyle is specialized for thick muck in floodplains, they wouldn't make particularly interesting captives. I'm guessing you saw this on one of the big reptile and amphibian retailer websites, since I'm not aware of anyone on this forum selling auriculatus. Please know that, while the prices on those sites can be attractive, their salamanders are often very unhealthy and (apart from axolotls) nearly always wild-caught, with highly unsustainable and sometimes even illegal collecting practices.

I'd strongly recommend buying your salamander from a reputable breeder; there are a decent number of species for sale in the Advertisements section of this forum, and people are generally happy to recommend breeders they know for harder-to-find species. You will pay considerably more than at the big retailer websites, but as I mentioned before, the salamanders from those big retailers are very often unhealthy—there's a very good chance that if you buy a $15 salamander with $25 shipping from one of those sites, it will arrive sickly and, even with the best care you can give, die within a couple weeks. Better to pay $50–$100 + shipping for an ethically-sourced salamander that will live than to throw away $40-$50 on an unethically-sourced salamander that dies in a few weeks.
I was thinking on purchasing from here. I just never knew if any breeders here are selling me the wrong species. I would love to purchase from here. Also, I checked the for sale section, and there were no dusky salamanders for sale. Do you know anyone here or anywhere else who can sell me a dusky or fire salamander? Thanks.
 

PDONTnAMBY

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2016
Messages
41
Reaction score
7
Points
8
Location
Illinois
Country
United States
That's good to hear that you're looking to buy from here! Apologies if I came across as presumptuous. I saw that you put up a wanted ad for fire salamanders in the FS:USA, I think you'll have good luck with that! As for duskies, that's trickier... I've only ever seen one account of a species being successfully bred for the hobby, and that was Desmognathus aeneus (seepage salamander) by the folks at Indoor Ecosystems a couple years back. I'd reach out to them at info[at]indoorecosystems.com and ask if they either have any desmognathus or know of anyone else breeding them. I bought a couple sals from them awhile ago, and they're very healthy!
 

Hecklad

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
4
Points
3
Location
Tennessee, USA
Country
United States
I know there is a negative stigma against catching your own, but it may be the easiest way to get you a dusky if you live in the eastern US, although you may have to settle for a different species than the one you mentioned. Every state has different regulations, so should it be legal for you and you collect responsibly and only take what you can properly care for, I say go for it. Duskies are by far the most common species I find personally.
 

JaceW/Lifer-Log

Active member
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
179
Reaction score
62
Points
28
Location
United States
Country
United States
I know there is a negative stigma against catching your own, but it may be the easiest way to get you a dusky if you live in the eastern US, although you may have to settle for a different species than the one you mentioned. Every state has different regulations, so should it be legal for you and you collect responsibly and only take what you can properly care for, I say go for it. Duskies are by far the most common species I find personally.
Yes, it is normally seen as bad but if it is a prevalent species, (like northern dusky in most of the northeastern US) it will not be damaging to the population. I feel the negative is more towards "summer-pets" you wild catch, keep for the summer and release. this has a chance to introduce immunities into the wild population.
TLDR; If you wild catch one(which is OK), just don't release it after being kept for a month.)
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Murk:
    Ooh, tiles of course. I was thinking of those ceramic rings/balls you can buy as filter medium, but tiles make more sense. Thanks
    +1
    Unlike
  • Stacy:
    Hi there, I am a new Axolotl lover & owner of two cuties! They are little over 6 months old now. I have a divider and decided to see how they would be together because they always tried to get to each other threw the border/wall.
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    In PowerSchool, what is your current grade for this class?Do you have any missing or incomplete assignments for this class?If yes, what assignments do you plan to complete before the end of the marking period (March 25th)?What can I do to help you get your grade to where you need it to be before the end of the marking period?
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Oh shoot wrong thing
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Looolllllll
    +1
    Unlike
  • Axiegel & Edgar:
    i need help!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Murk:
    With?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    liz. has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    @Axiegwhats el & Edgar,
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    What is wrong?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    JoyJiang has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    JoyJiang has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Hi guys, I was wondering if I possibly crashed my tanks cycle? I’ve had a cycling tank for months now, changing 25% water weekly. I never had any problem until a few days ago when I did a 50% water change. I did this because the tank was looking extra dirty for some reason and also I siphoned too much water out trying to vacuum the sand. I noticed since that water change, my axolotl has been hiding more, barely eating, and only moving from time to time. I checked the water perimeters and they are .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 10 nitrate. I normally have 0 ammonia, I haven’t had above 0 since I was first cycling the tank. Did I make an error or is this just a fluke? What should I do?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Im worried about my lil girl, she’s normally fairly active and a pig when it comes to food. Should I tub her until I figure out the tank situation? Am I overreacting lol?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Also, she is about a year old. Her tail is perfectly straight and her gills are perky (not curled forward). She’s looking perfectly fine, just acting weird
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Sorry one more thing, when I changed the water last I removed a few plastic plants that I realized were taking up too much room. Would the removal of the bacteria on the plants mess it up?
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Maybe, I’m not to sure. I’ve done lots of research when i got my baby axolot. Maybe she is just adjusting to the new tank?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    JoyJiang has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    JoyJiang has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    mavrixwk has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Robpod86:
    What can I do to help my tiger that is bloated. Been bloated for 2 months. Ty
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Tiger..?
    +1
    Unlike
  • SubZero:
    Tiger = Tiger Salamandrr its tiring to type the whole thing
    +1
    Unlike
  • JoyJiang:
    Oh ok, I dont know anything about those, I’m an axolotl owner sorry
    +1
    Unlike
    JoyJiang: Oh ok, I dont know anything about those, I’m an axolotl owner sorry +1
    Top