<i>Hynobius nigrescens</i> (Japanese Black Salamander)

A

aimee

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Hi all

Very new to this species - there is not a lot of caresheets or reliable information on this particular species, I have tried at least 3 good search engines but only came back with pictures.

I assume they are terrestrial as most pictures I have observed are on land - which substrate would you experienced keepers recommend? Food I would also assume would be live critters (to include crickets, worms, wax worms, etc).

I have a few questions before I go ahead and deicide to purchase it - I have gone out before without doing a little background reaserch. Not adviseable.

1) What kind of substrate/temperature should I provide? I keep my s.s.salamandra/terrestris on both soil/woodland terrain, and also the more simple unbleached papertowel approach, both of which are suitable. Also temps of about 18'c which they seem to be doing great at.

2) Do I provide a water area or are they prone to drowing either as adults or juveniles? The one I intend to buy is a juvenile and has the blue mottled pattern.

3) Is there any other vital information I should know before exploring the world of Hynobius? I'd like to know as much as possible before I dive head first into this new species.

I know there is a lot of bad vibes towards Marc Staniszewski whom is the person I am buying this gorgeous creature from but I have bought live stock from him before and he was very helpful. here is a picture of the Hynobius nigrescens that I should be getting:

http://www.amphibian.co.uk/images/h-nigrescens-c.gif

Looks like it is being fed on bloodworms at the moment, and is probrably a newly morphed salamander. Is it definately a Hynobius nigrescens?

Thanks, all info is greatly appreciated.
 

TJ

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Hi Aimee, first of all, welcome to the wonderful world of Hynobius!
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That's a very nicely colored/patterned nigrescens juvie! Would be nice to see a clearer, brighter pic of it. But I couldn't tell you for sure that that is what it really is. There is also quite significant regional variation within nigrescens. I have a nigrescens adult but it's rather plain in color with no distinct markings. As for your other questions, well, Henk, with years of experience with hynobiids, is best qualified to answer those. Henk...?
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BUT...I should mention that I recently had a disaster with my nigrescens -- just two days after acquiring them as a pair -- when I transferred them to a tank with (semi-moist) oil/woodland substrate terrain like you mentioned above and like I used to keep my fire sal in (before I gave him away for running up my cricket bill). Anyway, one of them died overnight and its body was covered by soil when I found it. I immediately transferred the surviving nigrescens back to moss, where it's been fine. I keep all my other hynobiids (all juvies) in moss, and have had no problems with them at all.

As for food, yes live critters are taken eagerly. Some hynobiids I keep readily accept frozen bloodworm fed by hand, especially nebulosus but also dunni and retardatus. H.tokyoensis will not accept hand-fed food in my experience...
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My surviving adult nigrescens also won't, and is eating crickets, but then again I haven't tried very hard with it yet.

I wouldn't see a need for a water area if you're providing moist moss. One of my 3 H.takedai drowned upon morphing so I'd be careful. Keeping them on paper towels seems unnecessary to me, especially if moss is available. Also, paper towels can easily dry up if not watched carefully. Let's see what others have to say about it.

Anyway, let us know when your sal arrives, post some nicer pics of it and fill us in on the nitty-gritty!
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A

aimee

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Hi Tim

So I gather moss is the best substrate then? I can understand that soil could be quite bad, a good site for infections and bacteria...

Thanks for the info. From what I have gathered from various people, this is a very delicate species... I am not sure if I should dive straight into this as I don't want to buy it and for it to keal over on me the next day due to bad husbandry...

Is it quite rare in the UK? I ask this as I have never seen this species advertised on any sites I use/visit. It would be a nice species to own it as it is a truly fascinating and pretty creature, but again I am worried I might kill it!

If I decide to go ahead and buy it, I will let you know... and of course post pictures when/if I get it..

Thanks
 

TJ

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Hi Aimee, I wouldn't go so far as to say moss is the best substrate for hynobiids. Indeed, I'm going to experiment a bit with the use of gravel, rocks, etc. Also, I'd urge you to hold out for some view/opinions from people with more experience than me as I'm pretty new to them myself
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They're not as delicate as you may have heard and as I used to believe. I haven't experienced any problems with my juvies, and I'm not doing anything spectacular to keep them alive and well -- just providing them with the basics.

(Message edited by TJ on October 23, 2003)
 
H

henk

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Well to my overall experience Hynobius are quite hardy species. Especially H. dunni is extremally hardy, hence the succces in breeding we have here in Europe.
H. retardatus is a bit less easy to care for, to my opinion this species is loving humidity as the other species I have ... in fact I think it lives more then a plethodont and quite interesting : they also like to sit out in the open so you actually see this species more often then the other
 
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