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Ichthyosaura alpestris apuanus

froggy

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Here are a few shots of my apuanus.

1. The aquarium (plants are Fontinalis and Hydrocotyle ?vulgaris? (pennywort))
2,3,4. Adult female. This animal was rescued from a shop, having spent more than six months wasting away at high (c. 27C) temperatures. She was basically a hyperactive skeleton with skin attached. She is now doing really well and is entirely
5. Another animal, from Alan Cann's brood
6. Larva (from Mark Aartse-Tuyn's brood)
7. Newly morphed juvenile. Quite small, due to the large number of animals reared, but feeding OK.
8. Just for fun, a Trachemys scripta elegans my girlfriend and I rescued the other day (found him emaciated in a local pond).

C
 

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Azhael

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I´m so glad to see Ms Skeleton looking so well! You did a fantastic job.
Congrats on the morphs too, you are going to be swamped soon xD

Beware the turtles, they have a caudate-like addictive quality to them, they are very tempting!
 

Mark

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Looking good Chris. How many morphs do you think you'll get after the fungus business? Enough for your studies?

I'm certain I spotted an apuanus in amongst the kaiseri larvae the other day. If you want it after it morphs give me a shout.
 
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froggy

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Thanks for the comments.

I think I will have around 100 morphs, but I need to recount larvae and this is not an accurate estimate! I lost a number of larvae, but only in a few tanks (eggs and baskets and all that!), so a reasonable number have come through so far. Also, some of the remaining ones are very small, so I don't know if they will do well after morphing. I'm hoping that I will have too many, rather than too few, but I will let you know if I need the morph from you - thanks very much for offering.
 

froggy

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A few more pics, mainly of an animal from Morg - this one has weirdly large lips (reminds me of Ranodon!).

C

PS apologies for the odd colour balance...because of the lighting the pics originally came out very yellowed (sort of nostalgic flash-back like) and this was the best I could do to fix it.

C
 

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froggy

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A couple more pics of juveniles and setups (some are reared aquatically, others terrestrially; the setup with the mossy island is for morphing). Also a pic of one juvenile trying out the "Unken" reflex (not very good pic).

C
 

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Azhael

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Ach....so much moss, and so lush! I hate you...xD
They are looking great, Chris :) The tanks also look lovely. Keep up the good work!

How are you feeding the terrestrial ones, by the way? Do you just let them hunt freely?
 

froggy

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Thanks! The moss is great (thanks Richard!) and one species seems to be growing, as long as I spray daily. The ferns are ?Dryopteris? that appeared around the base of a repotted houseplant, so I assume that the spores drifted in and settled or were in the compost itself.

It is sitting ontop of hides made from sawn up exoterra polystyrene backgrounds that came free with terraria. They seem to work well and have the extra advantage of being much lighter than bricks etc.

I feed both sets of juveniles just by adding food and letting them get on with it. The terrestrial tanks also have resident white worm and springtail populations that they nibble on. I already have way too many to feed by hand and will end up with even more once everyone has metamorphosed. I am checking on them 2 weeks after metamorphosis and so far they all seem plump enough. I occasionally see the aquatic ones going after bloodworm/whiteworm, too.

I plan to use simlar terrestrial setups for my H. orientalis once they morph.
 

ACEPHONECHIC

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Hi I am very new to Alpine newts and have two who have morphed and three still with gills.
I am confused a bit as to what I should allow to provide for the morphed ones. Some advise seems to be water enviroment with some plants that float to allow the little newts to sit on the top if they so desire. I have also placed some large rocks in the bottom of the tank that can be sat on and they do seem to like these. At first i visage that you would have a tank with water down one side and then something to provide a land area covered in moss for them to roam through if they so desire.
So should they really have land to roam or am I better to encourage them to be aquatic and just take advantage of the plants to sit in and on. They are fed Daphina and mosquito lava which they hunt and chase fine. One has tasted worms but they seem to have not grasped yet they are food. The two morphed ones seem very tiny but healthy.
What do the experts advise please. I really want to do the best for them but find them alot more complicated than my five Axies who are now one year old and around 9 inches long.
 

froggy

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It depend on the subspecies. I. a. apuanus can be kept aquatic or terrestrial, while other subspecies commonly kept in captivity need terrestrial setups as juveniles. If you keep apuanus aquatic as juvies, you will need to provide dense vegetation, so that they can sit on top and get their heads out of the water. There are usually a few that climb the sides for a bit, but they become completely aquatic very quickly.

The reason that some of the newts (above) are in completely terrestrial setups, while the rest are completely aquatic, is that I am doing an experiment as part of my PhD to identify what difference the rearing set up makes.

If yours are eating in an aquatic setup, I would leave them there, as making them terrestrial would only cause stress at this point. As with your axies, the same basic rules of cool temps and good water quality apply, but as i said before, having dense vegetation is really important, too.

I wouldn't go with a 50:50 setup, as the newts will likely only use one part and the water part will be much more difficult to keep clean, beimg much smaller. It will also make feeding ore difficult, as you will have to provide both terrestrial and aquatic foods.

Good luck with them!

C
 

froggy

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Some more pictures - this time of advanced larvae. These hatched from eggs from Mark, back in ?March? I think. Although a lot have morphed (60 so far) a lot of them show no signs of morphing and have taken on a darker, slate-like colour.
I intend to keep any further morphs in the same tank (there is an island and they are happy aquatic).

There is also a couple of light-coloured larvae, which show no signs of morphing, either. The one pictured has lost it's gills on one side to a tank-mate.

C
 

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Azhael

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How big are the ones in the first picture? They look very advanced and their colour looks just like some photos of neotenic animals i´ve seen. It´s interesting.
The light one does look leucistic, or is it the flash? I saw my larvae change colour dramatically but nothing as light as that.
They are looking great, Chris, nice job, and i really like your tanks, water, ridiculous amounts of plants and newts, just like i like them :D
 

froggy

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Thanks, Rodrigo

The larvae are all between 4.5 and 6 cm long. There definitely seem to be two phenoypes - those that go from normal larval colouration to juvenile colouration and morph, and those that go from larval colouration to a darker colour with black spots on the flanks and show no sign of morphing.

They are maintained at cool temperatures using a growth chamber and so have regular 15C day watertemp, down to about 13C at night. If some of them are becoming neotenic, this could be the reason.

The light animal is as light as it appears in the photo. There are two of them (or there were when I put them into that large tank from lots of small ones) out of about 120 larvae that reached advanced stage. If they reach morph-hood (no reason why they shouldn't) I'll let you know how they turn out. Anyway, they are far less attractive than their wildtype siblings!
 
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