Identifying Hypselotriton.

Azhael

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A fellow spanish hobbyists was given a pair of Hypselotriton. She didn´t really want a new species as she is only interested in keeping H.orientalis so she offered them to someone else in exchange of CB orientalis. I offered to take them in, fearing that they might have ended somewhere less pleasant, and i will be sending lots of eggs to her in exchange (which is great since i can never raise a lot of juvies anyway).
Apparently they have been handed down through a series of owners, but i ignore how many or where they were originally obtained from. I assume that in all probability they are WC. Nothing indicates the contrary.

They were sent yesterday and arrived today. They look very healthy although obviously stressed. I don´t know if i´ll end up keeping them myself or giving them away to someone else. I really should not increase the number of animals i keep....not a good idea at all...plus, to be honest, as lovely as they are (which they really are!), i´m not interested in Hypselotriton without locality.

Still, i´m trying to figure out what species they are. My best guess is probably H.chenggongensis, but it´s just that...a guess. I´m not even remotely familiar enough with the H.chenggongensis/H.cyanurus/H.yunnanensis group to make a decent identification.
I´m attaching a few pics taken by their previous owner as i haven´t been able to take any myself. I´ll update with more pictures, as well as meassurements, when i´m able to take them.
I realize, without locality data, identifying them may not even be possible, but i would apreciate opinions from those of you who are more familiar with these species.
Thank you.
 

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Molch

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lovely critters indeed.

I have no idea. They don't look exactly like any of mine either. They look somewhere in between the 2 strains of cyanurus/ "cheggongensis" I have. Who knoweth? Who can say? It's a mystery.*

They are very pretty though.




* [ ] check this box if this post was, like, totally not helpful.
 

Azhael

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Your other posts did help :D They were among the ones i checked out to see if i could find similar animals to the ones i received. You have helped me come to the conclussion that i haven´t got the foggiest idea what these two new fellas are xD

Every time i see similarities with cyanurus, i then see others with chenggongensis..this is very confussing! Specially since so many captive animals are most likely missidentified anyway.

Edit: I just found some pictures labeled as H.c.yunnanensis that are identical to my animals, but who knows if those are correctly identified themselves.
 
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Azhael

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Here are a few new pictures. Having seen them better, i´m quite astonished at how much they remind of pyrrhogaster o_O Really...a lot...
The red line on the hips is almost identical to what some juvenile or female pyrrhogasters have. Also, pyrrho juvenies have cheek spots too, and they then disappear.
The texture of the skin is very similar too.
Even the hind limbs remind me of pyrrhogaster...it´s just weird.


I´m pretty sure they are male and female...although out of breeding season the cloacae are dubious...
 

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Yahilles

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Honestly, i don't see anything that would make them look different from "regular" cyanurus visible, on second set of pics they look basically same as my cyanurus. This species complex (btw you mentioned yunnanensis as a species - i thought it's a subspecies of cyanurus?) is a mess and there are probably some more species to describe. It's also worth noting that their colouration and even skin texture is pretty variable depending on conditions, like lighting, background colors etc.

In my opinion, especially with the fact you don't have the locality data, it's pretty pointless to seek out any ID's because eventually you're going to end up calling them "Hypselotriton cf. cyanurus" or "cf. chenggongensis" just because for you they look different from what others call just cyanurus, while, for me, they don't, for example because of lack of knowledge of their origin.

Pyrrhogasters? Sounds like you're imagining things, mate, don't seek sensations when there are virtually none ;)
 

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I'm of the same mind as Yahilles. It's more or less pointless to try and obtain a firm ID on the highland firebellies when all the named species are described from a very small area, at least two reputedly occur much more widely, and there is apparently variation which exceeds the boundaries of the original descriptions. One possibility is that one or more of the recognized forms are actually H.wolterstorffi. There is good evidence that H.yunnanensis is a species distinct from H.cyanurus, but without better data on more [named] populations, their variation, and their distribution, it's impossible to determine just how many species are involved and how they can be differentiated. In the interim, we need to maintain the various genetic lines in hope that they remain pure and can be properly identified later.
 

Azhael

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Yeah, i was expecting that. Still had to give it a go and see if i could learn something.

Genetic analysis, anyone? :D Just kidding.

And as for my commentary about how they remind me of pyrrhogaster, it´s not that i´m seeing stuff that it´s not there...plus i hadn´t made any claims. Having thought about it while in bed, like the nerd that i am, though, i´m thinking that maybe the lateral red lines near the hips or all along the body might be a plesiomorphy of the group...because it´s weird that C.pyrrhogaster has it, C.ensicauda has it, Pachytriton juveniles and some adults have it, Allomesotriton has something similar, these Hypselotriton have it...The only cynopita genera where i don´t remember having seen it are Paramesotriton and Laotriton...and i´m not so sure about some Paramesotriton....
 
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