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
181
Reaction score
63
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.
    Pepper0210: Me too. Lol +1
    Top