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Hybrid Ambystoma mexicanum x Ambystoma andersoni

millerj76

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Michael, I have a lot of respect for you and dont particularly want an argument either. The hybrids will be locked up in my shed and will not be entering the Uk gene pool so will have zero impact on the Uk andersoni and mexicanum populations. My andersoni and mexicanum breeding will take place in a separate shed which I have planned for the new year.
As before, no quick reply option, my questions are purely about the hybrids,nothing to do with the quote on this message. Anyway i was wondering if there was any difference in the growth rate, pre-hatching and post hatching, as there can be differences in growth rate between the different colour morphs of a.mexicanum,(raising some slow growers at moment,). Having witnessed different growth rates, just wondered if you had seen any difference, hatching time, was this 14 days onwards? did the eggs look unusual in anyway? were they as docile/unagressive as hatchlings,. your photos are nice, they seem to look very much A.anderson, colouration and do they have a slimmer appearance, just like A,anderson. Great thread, causing a little stir up, as all hybrids do, even though the first an second posts by yourself and bellabello stated they stay with yourselfs till the end. Just the right kind of research needed to stop fakers making money. Being a dog owner, and breeder, the only reason for breeding is if it will improve the breed, so obviously this hybridisation does not improve the A.anderson, does it improve A.mexicanum??!
 

Bellabelloo

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My eggs developed slightly slower than my axolotl eggs, but I had these at much lower temperatures. As soon as they hatched they fed, and looking back at some photo's I do not see any yolk sack. I wonder if that is down to the slower development perhaps. They where fed initially microworm, small daphnia, they moved up to white worm and chopped eathworm and live blood worm. Their diet now is mainly earthworm and occasionally frozen bloodworm. Ian's I believe where raised in a more naturalistic set up, where as mine where fed twice daily / daily introduced food. Ian's seem to have grown faster this way...but I will let him elaborate. At no point have these shown any tendency to nip. If I kept axolotl larvae in the same way, I would expect to see missing body parts and cannibalism , especially as there are quite large differences in growth rate through the group.
Mine are currently kept in a shed, as the temperatures have dropped I have noticed that they are far more lively and are hanging out more towards the top of the surface. Yesterday I checked the temperature and it was at 6 degree Celsius, I also checked the parameters to make sure all was fine there. They still eagerly eat their usual quantity of food.
 

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xxianxx

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As before, no quick reply option, my questions are purely about the hybrids,nothing to do with the quote on this message. Anyway i was wondering if there was any difference in the growth rate, pre-hatching and post hatching, as there can be differences in growth rate between the different colour morphs of a.mexicanum,(raising some slow growers at moment,). Having witnessed different growth rates, just wondered if you had seen any difference, hatching time, was this 14 days onwards? did the eggs look unusual in anyway? were they as docile/unagressive as hatchlings,. your photos are nice, they seem to look very much A.anderson, colouration and do they have a slimmer appearance, just like A,anderson. Great thread, causing a little stir up, as all hybrids do, even though the first an second posts by yourself and bellabello stated they stay with yourselfs till the end. Just the right kind of research needed to stop fakers making money. Being a dog owner, and breeder, the only reason for breeding is if it will improve the breed, so obviously this hybridisation does not improve the A.anderson, does it improve A.mexicanum??!

The eggs were hatched in my shed at about 17c, I didn't have a control A.mexicanum batch to measure the differences in hatching times, lower temps slow the hatching times so I cant answer that question. The eggs looked like axolotl eggs. From hatchling up to 5" they showed no aggression between each other, no missing limbs or damaged tails. I didn't measure the growth rates but the ten I kept range in size from 3.5"-5" and they are five months old so possibly on the small/average size for mexicanum but they were kept feral in a daphnia tub for a couple of months, they didn't grow much but maintained their body mass due to the small food source. Sorry cant help more than that, my experience is based on ten individuals from one hatching so may not be indicative of hybrid hatching rates etc, the rest of the batch were fed to my p.waltl within a couple of weeks of hatching. As for "improving" mexicanum , behaviorally they may make for more docile and less aggressive tank mates,if you like the look of them aesthetically maybe, only time will tell health wise.
 

millerj76

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The eggs were hatched in my shed at about 17c, I didn't have a control A.mexicanum batch to measure the differences in hatching times, lower temps slow the hatching times so I cant answer that question. The eggs looked like axolotl eggs. From hatchling up to 5" they showed no aggression between each other, no missing limbs or damaged tails. I didn't measure the growth rates but the ten I kept range in size from 3.5"-5" and they are five months old so possibly on the small/average size for mexicanum but they were kept feral in a daphnia tub for a couple of months, they didn't grow much but maintained their body mass due to the small food source. Sorry cant help more than that, my experience is based on ten individuals from one hatching so may not be indicative of hybrid hatching rates etc, the rest of the batch were fed to my p.waltl within a couple of weeks of hatching. As for "improving" mexicanum , behaviorally they may make for more docile and less aggressive tank mates,if you like the look of them aesthetically maybe, only time will tell health wise.
Seems that as 'normal', (although not quite normal as we are talking about a hybrid)the higher temperatures have given the hybrids you have raised Ian, the faster metabolism, and have grown quicker than the batch that Julia has raised at lower temperatures. I gathered the questions i asked would'nt be able to be answered with an answer that we can take a serious conclusion from, being a rarity, but still, just good to learn of all the little bits that can be so similar to the usual pure bred Andersons and Mexicanum, but are different and new because we're talking hybrid. thanks for the clear answers.
 

Bellabelloo

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Here are a few more photo's from today. I was keen to try and get some shots from the side. I think these still look more like wild type axolotl, but then I don't have any experience with the andersoni.
 

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jewett

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Sorry if this is a really stupid question but I know very little about andersoni - Ian you stated in your first post that you hybridized to ensure you did not have a "dud male." Do andersoni have a tendency towards infertility/ sterility? Or was it just extra caution?
 

xxianxx

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Sorry if this is a really stupid question but I know very little about andersoni - Ian you stated in your first post that you hybridized to ensure you did not have a "dud male." Do andersoni have a tendency towards infertility/ sterility? Or was it just extra caution?

All species could potentially throw up a dud male, either one who is infertile or just refuses to get down to buisness with the ladies lol. I have no information that A.andersoni are more or less likely to do so than any other species. I had arranged a breeding loan with a fellow andersoni keeper in the UK, it would have involved a several hour journey to collect the females, a couple months of quarantine and months of care till they could have potentially bred, I would also have held myself financially accountable for the females whilst they were in my care , a fatality would have cost me £100 per andersoni. I was just being cautious. I now know I have a functional male and he is in a tank with a couple of mature females and two additional males whom I sourced from a Swiss breeder.
 

LeFarge

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Julia I am convinced that those are what I bought as 'Andersoni' originally -- or AnderPhonies as we are now calling them... they were identically marked and coloured... and the German breeder my UK supplier got them from insists still that they are A Andersoni.

We'd always wondered if they were hybrids.
 

oceanblue

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I wonder if the problem of "morphing andesoni" discussed in another thread is in part because the andersoni not being what they seem, but hybrids.

The block to morphing in both andersoni and mexicanum is probably recent, both are believed to have separately evolved from different parts of the tiger salamander complex after the last glaciation (in the last 10,000 years). The block could well be different in each species. If that is the case then F1 hybrids inherit genes which bypass the blocks and permit morphing.

I think there is a very high probability you will end up with a tankful of very pretty morphed "andersoni" from this cross and that is fine if they are in the hands of people who know how to care for and keep salamanders. If this is the case then reporting it will greatly help and maybe allow identification of the nature of the morphing block in andersoni.

In some ways this may be a good thing, morphs are rarely bred from and neither andersoni nor mexicanum lines will be messed up.

It seems probable that genuine purebred andersoni occasionally, maybe even frequently morph but I wonder if many of the problems reported on the continent are morphing hybrids sold by someone who is making a fast buck.

I personally have no objections to keeping useful, beautiful or interesting hybrids or artificial constructs like GFP axolotls. Despite that I worry when the are misrepresented or let loose without thought.
 

Infamous82

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I am glad to see that someone responsible is actually trying this. Where as I do agree that these should not enter the market due to the obvious reason of those that would try to pass them off as A. andersoni. I do appeciate them and the initiative to try, even if it was just to test fertility. A friend of mine has been breeding hybrid snakes for years, and makes crosses that would not pass as either species and clearly labels and sells them as hybrids with amounts of what species is in them. He started this on a whim to see if he could breed a snake with honduran milksnake colors that was docile and would actually eat, as young hondurans are hard to get started on mice and are very prone to biting and do not like being handled, thus the cornduran was born. Where purists disagree with the practice, hobbyist and those who just want a pretty, calm, animal that eats well is why some do it. As to whether the andersoni x mexicanum crosses would produce viable offspring, I would say yes. If a cornsnake and a milksnake can, there's no doubt that 2 ambystoma can. Kudos to you 2 and wish you were in the US so i could get 1 or 2 for my personal collection.
 

Azhael

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Just to clarify, just because these two caudates are closer than cornsnakes and milksnakes it doesn´t mean that their offspring will necessarily be fertile. In fact you could have extremely close species that are completely unable to produce viable hybrid embryos, and not so close ones like the snakes mentioned that not only have viable offspring, but they actually seem to show hybrid vigor. The viability and fertility of this crosses are determined by genetics (like say, number of chromosomes) not by proximity. Also, sympatric species are more likely to not produce viable hybrids than allopatric species, because often, various mechanisms arise to impide gene flow.
I do however agree that these are probably fertile.
 

xxianxx

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Julia I am convinced that those are what I bought as 'Andersoni' originally -- or AnderPhonies as we are now calling them... they were identically marked and coloured... and the German breeder my UK supplier got them from insists still that they are A Andersoni.

We'd always wondered if they were hybrids.

Caudata.org Newt and Salamander Forum - LeFarge's Album: NOT Ambystoma Andersoni (Anderson's Salamanders) - Picture thats the link for lefarges "andersoni", I looked through the pics again and they just look like A.mexicanum except for picture 12 Caudata.org Newt and Salamander Forum - LeFarge's Album: NOT Ambystoma Andersoni (Anderson's Salamanders) - Picture that mottled look is unusual for mexicanum but is present on two of my hybrids now at 4" and was present on six out of seven at 3", they are developing a different patterning as they get bigger
xxianxx-albums-mexicanum-andersoni-hybrids-picture25351-hybrid-cynops-072.jpg

the hybrid back right of the pic is similar to lefarges pic 12. They may possibly be hybrids but I am unconvinced, if all of lefarges "andersoni" were from the same batch wouldnt they all (or atleast more than one) display andersoni or hybrid markings ?
 
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LeFarge

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mine never looked as andersoni-like as yours but looked just like belabelloos
 

xxianxx

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mine never looked as andersoni-like as yours but looked just like belabelloos

Julias are from the same batch as mine, the mottled colouration/patterning developed as they got bigger, mine are more advanced than Julias. I think yours look more like this pic. Any idea what it is?
 

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Bellabelloo

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Not much has changed with my group. At one point they had been under ice for a few days, and as a consequence they where not eating. When their water temperature dropped below 5 degrees they stopped eating their worms, however I noticed a couple where missing a foot and had slightly lob sided gills :eek:. I have now put the group in two separate tubs.
 

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millerj76

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Very nice pictures, looking at the middle picture made me think of a question, do all andersoni have blue eyes, think i may have seen blue eyed andersons, which would lead to the question of wether any of the hybrids have blue eyes. Nice hybrids regardless of the eyes. Also remember posting a picture of my old axolotl, after seeing pictures of lefarge's andersoni, as i thought my axolotl was quite similar.
 

AngieD

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This is jumping back to a slightly earlier post, but I can confirm that a pure Andersoni has morphed. I can't really give any more information on that, but it has definitely happened with a 100% pure specimen
 

xxianxx

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This is jumping back to a slightly earlier post, but I can confirm that a pure Andersoni has morphed. I can't really give any more information on that, but it has definitely happened with a 100% pure specimen

One of my A.andersoni morphed, atleast it looked like one and cost the same lol The biggest two hybrids are over 5" and in my house, the others are in my shed and have a reduced growth rate due to the lower temps.
 

esn

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This is jumping back to a slightly earlier post, but I can confirm that a pure Andersoni has morphed. I can't really give any more information on that, but it has definitely happened with a 100% pure specimen

I also have an andersoni, assumed to be pure, that is morphed. If anything I would think hybridizing to axolotls would decrease the morph rate.

I'd like to see if any of them end up morphing through the year. From all that I've heard it happens when they're juveniles. I'm going to make a small unsupported guess that these won't.
 
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