Hybrid Ambystoma mexicanum x Ambystoma andersoni

Coastal Groovin

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I would expect that mexicanum X andersoni hybrids are were already sold by someone as an axolotl. I'm not against them as long as they are sold as hybrids. They would never pass as an Andersoni but probably an axolotl. You should breed them back to andersoni to see what those offspring look like.
 

xxianxx

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I'm not against them as long as they are sold as hybrids. They would never pass as an Andersoni but probably an axolotl. You should breed them back to andersoni to see what those offspring look like.
I was actually going to do that, to see at what point a hybrid resembles a pure A.andersoni. It would also help me to document any differences which could be used to recognizes a hybrid and keep it out of the A.andersoni gene pool, I intend to breed my A.andersoni and cannot afford to get sold a hybrid as I intend to source some more to increase my colony of 3.2.0. There is at least one commercial breeder and a handful of private owners in the UK with viable breeding colonies and a hybrid in any of them could mean the UK hobby would permanently contaminated. It is the reason I chose to cull the vast majority of my hybrids, other than twenty (of whom fifteen remain) and not try to make a financial gain on their rarity and interest value, as I considered it immoral and wholly irresponsible to do so. I would possibly consider selling them if they morph , as has been suggested by some knowledgeable people , as I dont think anyone has bred a morphed axolotl. I will however put that question to the forum as I would like some hard facts on the matter as I dont really know.
 

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One of my Andersoni morphed (not a hybrid) he's the one Esn mentioned, she purchased him from me at last months show.
His morph was caused by a change in water chemistry(I moved from country to city water). I'm not sure why my other Andersoni didn't take to the morphing bug. However when he did start to show signs of it I delved into quite a few options of stopping it. Over a course of 5 months though he changed. he's now been morphed for almost 2 years.

My biggest frustration with his morphing was food and habitat.
When he was with me, He pretty much still lived like an un-morphed Andersoni and prefeed to stay in his water habitat. He wouldn't eat any of the food he previously did prior to morphing, but settled on some guppies and newt/salamander pellets.

Since then i've become pretty picky about my water conditioners. They HAVE to have Heavy Metals remover.That seems to be one of the biggest things for these guys.
 

esn

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One of my Andersoni morphed (not a hybrid) he's the one Esn mentioned, she purchased him from me at last months show.
His morph was caused by a change in water chemistry(I moved from country to city water). I'm not sure why my other Andersoni didn't take to the morphing bug. However when he did start to show signs of it I delved into quite a few options of stopping it. Over a course of 5 months though he changed. he's now been morphed for almost 2 years.

My biggest frustration with his morphing was food and habitat.
When he was with me, He pretty much still lived like an un-morphed Andersoni and prefeed to stay in his water habitat. He wouldn't eat any of the food he previously did prior to morphing, but settled on some guppies and newt/salamander pellets.

Since then i've become pretty picky about my water conditioners. They HAVE to have Heavy Metals remover.That seems to be one of the biggest things for these guys.
Since I've had him, he has been doing well. He's taken to land and is burrowing happily in a soil/coco fiber mix. He's also started taking earthworms. I think possibly the change in environment has urged him to land. Ian gave me some advice on feeding, and it turns out morphed Andersoni are awful at eating. I have to offer the worms at the side of his mouth, not in front of him. Odd eating behavior, but I've got it working for now. He seems very healthy, and eats a ton.
 

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Could I con you into possibly taking a comparison photo of one of your hybrids with a wildtype Mexicanum and a full blood Andersoni? :D


The photos are pretty evident, but for someone that doesn't have Andersoni, like you said, it would be very easy to dupe them.

Since the webbing, tail, and pattern/color difference might not be evident to them.


I have a friend in NV that has 2 pet axolotls (sisters) that have the chubby body of an Andersoni, I hadn't thought to look at webbing. Color differences are so wide in A.Mexicanum that I didn't take that into account either. Though their coloring is not the "usual" wildtype, and one is a melanoid.



I personally am not opposed to hybrids, A.Mexicanum has been hybridized before, given GFP and the tote on the xanthic gene.


I do agree with you that they should only go to people that aren't going to use them just to pawn off "AnderPhonies". Or people that aren't just going to blithely breed them into established populace of either Original species without labeling them as hybrids.
 

ZombieAxolotl

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Since I've had him, he has been doing well. He's taken to land and is burrowing happily in a soil/coco fiber mix. He's also started taking earthworms. I think possibly the change in environment has urged him to land. Ian gave me some advice on feeding, and it turns out morphed Andersoni are awful at eating. I have to offer the worms at the side of his mouth, not in front of him. Odd eating behavior, but I've got it working for now. He seems very healthy, and eats a ton.
Thats good :)
Probably the change, yes. When he first morphed he stayed on land for a few months and then eventually spend a few days in either, then plunged into the water and hadn't looked back lol.0
When he was dry-docked I did have to unbury him and wet him down occasionally because he wouldn't go towards the water at all. I didn't want him dying of dehydration since it wasn't cold enough in the room for him to actually hibernate.
 

xxianxx

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Could I con you into possibly taking a comparison photo of one of your hybrids with a wildtype Mexicanum and a full blood Andersoni? :D


The photos are pretty evident, but for someone that doesn't have Andersoni, like you said, it would be very easy to dupe them.

Since the webbing, tail, and pattern/color difference might not be evident to them.
Hi Katie, nice to see you back in the forum. You may have missed my morphed andersoni thread, I reported its morphing http://www.caudata.org/forum/f1173-...s-ambystomatids/82420-morphing-andersoni.html I am working on my tanks this weekend, will be removing my guys during the process so will get some comparison photos up. I never remove them from tanks just for a photo shoot lol Interesting that your andersoni took so long to morph, mine took about three weeks from when I first noticed a behavioral change to being fully morphed, it died four months later, I dont know why it seemed healthy, was feeding well and went from being active to dead in 24 hours. I think its environment may have been too dry, I spoke to a Swiss keeper who has had one in with her tiger sals for several years and it is kept very wet. The biggest hybrids are 6", I intend to select some females and cross them to male A.andersoni and A.mexicanum and make an album showing the intermediate stages between the pure bred of each species. The biggest difference between the F1 hybrids and A.andersoni is the lack of foot webbing, as they are getting bigger they are starting to darken but the banding/mottling is still apparant, I dont think anyone experienced with both species would mistake a hybrid for an A.andersoni, which is good news for our hobby.
 

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While you are pottering in your shed Ian, could you include a photo of the axolotl parent please :D
 

xxianxx

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While you are pottering in your shed Ian, could you include a photo of the axolotl parent please :D
This is the female hybrid parent, thought you had seen it


The hybrid pics will have to wait till next weekend, got roped into some work.
 

Niels D

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If everyone could be trusted there wouldn't be a problem. All hybrids would be identified and sold as hybrids, just like those fantasy pac man frogs. This isn't the case, so it's a good thing these hybrids stay with Julia and their breeder. When money is involved everything gets messed up. Nice animals btw!
 

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I managed to get some shots of the hybrids in my shed, they are about 5" and resemble A.andersoni more than the ones in my house who are darker in colouration. I was quite surprised at how much they look like A.andersoni and I am reevaluating my position that they couldn't be mistaken for pure ones, particularly for people who have no experience with them other than seeing pictures online, they appear to have a shorter and broader tail than A.mexicanum, they have their gills curled forward in the A.andersoni fashion, its not exclusive to them , A.mexicanum do it but to a lesser extent and the colouration and patterning on a couple is very close to A.andersoni. The major way to tell these guys from A.andersoni is the lack of foot webbing and I think that is the going to have to be the deciding factor in determining F1 hybrids. I would welcome opinions from others who have experience with A.andersoni to comment on these guys. There is a smaller leucistic A.mexicanum in one of the shots, it is a "guinea pig", measuring the hybrids tolerance of smaller axolotls, it would not be placed with larger A.mexicanum as I would fear for its safety but the hybrids behavior resembles A.andersoni and I am confidant it will be ok. I have never seen a missing limb on any of the seven hybrids as theyappear to show a greater regard for tank mates than A.mexicanum who are happy to eat each other .
 

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Having looked at Ian's pictures I am a little perturbed as to how different mine look, so after a chat I decided to bring my two smallest indoors. These will now sit on the kitchen window ledge by my sink... already their presence is rather distracting.
These two measure 3.5 '' and have lived in the garden shed since late summer. The water temperatures dropped so low that they had a layer of ice. When they water temperatures dropped below approx 4 degree's they stopped feeding. When they feed they have earthworms and very occasionally bloodworm, slugs, woodlice and so on...one of the smaller ones has a missing foot so I assume it was nipped by one of the siblings. Since these two have been indoors they have been much more lively and fed well on worms. I am hoping that being warmer they will grow a bit faster. Also being in a lighter environment I am curious to see if their colours change.
 

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ell when you think about it the a andersoni is kind of like a sub species i mean it basicly an axie, same country,same look they probily branched off from a single type of neotenic salamander along time ago ... now i may. be wrong but its like breeding tiger salamander subspecies an a andersoni is like a sub sub species :p
 

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ell when you think about it the a andersoni is kind of like a sub species i mean it basicly an axie, same country,same look they probily branched off from a single type of neotenic salamander along time ago ... now i may. be wrong but its like breeding tiger salamander subspecies an a andersoni is like a sub sub species :p
The evidence as far as it goes indicates axolotls(mexicanum), andersoni and the other neotenic species are separate parallel recently evolved species from the local normal tiger salamander population which usually does not still exist in the surrounding land.

Neoteny only takes one mutation somewhere in a long chain of thyroid hormone regulation, release or metabolism and these are all recent examples of evolution probably less than 10,000 years old in separation.

Once a species is totally neotenic it is stuck in its lake and unlikely to make it to a separate lake or river system. How closely related they are depends on how closely the founding populations were related, but they are not subspecies of each other, if you wish to argue they are subspecies you have to look to a non-neotenic species for the parent species.
 

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Thank you for all the updated pics.

Funnily enough when i first responded to this post I had just purchased some hybrid possible Andersoni X Mexicanum eggs from a friend of mine in WA. I wasn't sure they would hatch, with temp change and water diffrence. though a little more then have made it. 23 out of about 40 eggs

However they hatched last week and now it seems they are
A: definitely hybrid
And
B: at least F2!!!!!!

That or she's bred some of the first, what look to be leucistic, but are a solid yellowish-tan colored A.Andersoni

I asked if she would be willing to sell me the whole clutch as she usually sells to the local pet store and a wholesaler and I told her id rather know where they went, rather then into the local Mexicanum population.

It was assumed that they were Andersoni eggs, but she was forced to move and had placed her Andersoni and Mexicanum in the same tank to house temporarily.
And the Andersoni female ended up laying eggs shortly after. Though she had her Andersoni together in a breeding trio prior to that.

I'm itching for these babies to get bigger so I can see better pattern and color on the "leucistic" ones. And if it will prove my theory about something lol
 

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Do please keep us updated on your eggs. I am curious to see how they develop. My heart did sink however realising that she has sold the eggs of the hybrids on to others :(
 

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Do please keep us updated on your eggs. I am curious to see how they develop. My heart did sink however realising that she has sold the eggs of the hybrids on to others :(
I will take some pics of the hatchlings this week.

She only sold eggs to me, which is why i wanted to buy the rest from her.
 

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Here is the abstract of the type description of andersoni.

I think the fourth hind toe merits careful inspection and comparison with axolotl and andersoni in the F1 hybrids. As well as lack of webbing in F1 hybrids is this toe consistently four phalanged?

In adults tail body ratios may also be of help. I don't think gill rakers are easily counted without chopping the beast up. I understand balancers are an adhesive organ and are not present in axolotl larvae either so of no use in differentiation.

Herpetologica © 1984
Abstract: A new species of salamander, Ambystoma andersoni, is described from the municipality of Zacapu, Michoacan, Mexico. It is a robust (adults 100-140 mm in snout-vent length [SVL]), branchiate species of the A. tigrinum species group distinguished by a black-spotted reddish-brown body; short tail (56-78% of SVL); reduced body fin on adults; short, extensively webbed toes (posterior margin of hind foot conspicuously keeled); always three rather than four phalanges in the fourth hind toe; and only 14-25 gill rakers on the anterior face of the third gill arch (both sides summed). The dark yellowish brown eggs are 2.2-2.3 mm in diameter. Hatchlings lack balancers and are 12-13 mm in total length. Maturity is reached in about 1 yr at SVL ca. 90 mm. A few animals beginning to transform spontaneously in the laboratory underwent various degrees of skull metamorphosis but continued to resemble branchiate adults in body proportions and pigmentation.
 
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xxianxx

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I think the fourth hind toe merits careful inspection and comparison with axolotl and andersoni in the F1 hybrids. As well as lack of webbing in F1 hybrids is this toe consistently four phalanged?
Fell free to check my A.andersoni, A.mexicanum and hybrids out when ever you want.
 

ZombieAxolotl

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I picked up all but 1 of the clutch. Mark wanted to keep one.
I haven't had a chance to take any pics yet.

All of the babies seem to be dark now. I spotted one that still has a large amount of yellow, but the rest look like normal A.Andersoni larva. So hopefully the 4th phalanges and webbing will deduce whether these are hybrids or not. Oh precious toes haha :D
 
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