Echinotriton andersoni

TJ

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Snapped these at a Tokyo shop today:




(sorry in advance but I am not a potential source for them)
 
N

nate

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Nice shots Tim, thanks for sharing. And love that disclaimer, hehe.
 

TJ

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The pleasure's all mine Nate. If you want to see a certain angle or whatever, don't hesitate to ask. And yes, I do do belly shots upon request! ;)

By the way, would you or somebody enlighten me as to when to use "Tylototriton" and when (if ever) to use "Echinotriton". Has Tylototriton replaced the latter? Are the two terms distinct? Interchangeable?

Which reminds me, I've also seen Hypselotriton used for Chinese species of Cynops, and other terms like Triton, Diemictylus and Triturus used in place of Cynops. What's going on here? Can't these scientists get their act together?!


The common name for this particular newt is listed as "Anderson's alligator newt" in the book "A Photographic Guide; Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan". Funny, I thought these newts, including Tylototriton shanjing for example, are called "crocodile newts"...

The aforementioned book says that unlike Cynops, the eggs of this "living fossil" are laid individually (50-60, sometimes more than 100) in soil on land close to bodies of water. Upon hatching, the larvae crawl to the water on their own. Also says here they don't breed in water like Cynops but on land, though little is known about their breeding behavior.
 

TJ

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I should have checked with Caudate Central first before posting that. Says here Echinotriton and Tylototriton are indeed different though both are known as "crocodile newts". Guess that means Echinotritons are "northern crocs" and Tylototriton constitute those in the southern range. Echinotriton andersoni is listed here as "Island Crocodile Newt"
 
K

kai

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Hi Tim, congrats!


Generic names are by no means fixed and usually what is actually used is decided by consensus among people working with the respective group. However, scientists are humans and, thus, often disagree with each other...


The use of Triton/etc. is outdated for several reasons and you'll only find these names in old articles (or in the synonymy).

The (revived) use of Hypselotriton (and possibly a new generic name for orientlis & ophryticus) comes from the recent discovery that those species are closer related to other salamandrids than (exclusively) to the Cynops from Japan. It's a pretty widespread believe that all members of a genus should be more closely related to each other than to any other animal. Thus, if you discover that this isn't the case some name changes are unevitable.

The separation of Echinotriton (no living fossil for sure) from Tylototriton is currently accepted but hasn't been verified by any strict phylogenetic analysis. Since the enigmatic asperrimus and its relatives haven't been widely available for research, it's still possible that Echinotriton might have to be included in Tylototriton again.

BTW, you should read Max Sparreboom's essays on both Echinotriton species at Amphibian Web as well as his original papers!

Best wishes,
kai
 

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Thanks Kai!
Here are a couple more pics taken today at a different shop:


I was told the newt enters the water bowl quite frequently.
 
J

john

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Hmmm, is it me or does that one at the bottom look more like chinaiensis?

Thanks for posting those Tim - wonderful to see as ever
.
 
A

aaron

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John, I think I'll agree with you on that one. After your post, I looked at the photo closer, and that does highly resemble chinaiensis.

~Aaron
 
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john

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I'm trying to figure out how it could be chinhaiensis but it doesn't make sense if they already have andersoni in Japan. Hopefully my eyes are deceiving me.
 

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Interesting observations. Hmmm....

These are all being sold as coming from Tokunoshima Island, where they can be caught legally, in contrast with most other islands in their habitat, where they are protected.

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that they're "cheap Chinese imports" being sold as andersoni...but I doubt it.

They've recently been showing up in shops in large numbers and with increasing regularity. I've just heard that authorities in Kagoshima Prefecture (where Tokunoshima is located) are now considering enactment of legislation to prohibit collection of wildlife in the prefecture's southern islands.

I should add that Amami-Ooshima, the largest island in which C.e.ensicauda is found, is located in the same prefecture so this species might also become protected if this info is true.

I've also heard speculation that the ones found on Tokunoshima are a different species, or at least a different subspecies, than the protected ones found further south in Okinawa Prefecture. Anybody have anything on this?

Some more pics can be seen here:

http://www.remix-net.co.jp/Peponi/Image/2002/12gatu/12.20/anderson1.JPG
http://www.remix-net.co.jp/Peponi/Image/2002/12gatu/12.20/anderson3.JPG
http://www.remix-net.co.jp/Peponi/Image/2002/12gatu/12.20/anderson4.JPG
http://www.remix-net.co.jp/Peponi/Image/2002/12gatu/12.20/anderson5.JPG
http://www.remix-net.co.jp/Peponi/Image/2002/12gatu/12.20/anderson6.JPG
 

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About that speculation, that's with regard to andersoni, not C.e.e.
 

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Came across these in a shop today, and was surprised to see they're considerably lighter and more rusty-red in color than the E.andersoni I'm used to seeing...

 
J

john

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Now those are interesting. Simply a colour variant or is it a subspecies I wonder. As ever Tim, thank you for sharing your photos.
 
A

aaron

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Echinotriton starvingensis
. Awesome find once again, Tim. It's a shame they're so skinny though-I don't wanna imagine the price for them, even ones in that health. None the less, thanks for sharing.

~Aaron
 

TJ

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Thanks for the thanks guys. Yes, Aaron, it's a real shame, the state they're in. But they've only just arrived at the shop -- and it's a reputable one so you can rest assured those with an appetite will be amply fed. Last I saw, crickets had been added to their tank (didn't see them eating though...).

The asking price was as astounding $350 (think that's per newt though it might've been per pair). Needless to say, it never entered my mind to get one! Wouldn't want one even if it were free as they're really being over-harvested these days, or so it seems.

Having said that, I was more than willing to take home the egg.


Reminds me, I was once given an andersoni larvae but it morphed sooner than expected and went MIA on me.


John, dunno if they're just a color variant or what. They're supposed to be from Tokunoshima Island (which is the only place I'm aware of where andersoni can be legally collected). I should also point out to you that they're the same as the ones in the egg pic. About 2 of the 8 or so were considerably darker than the rest.
 
J

jennifer

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Rather than a color variant, it could just be an effect of the starvation.
 
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