N. strauchii lack of breeding

ferreron

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Hello:

I've also observed courtship in my group of strauchii, just like last year, although that time there weren't any eggs.

This year things seem a bit different: the females are fatter than the previous year, are paying more attention to the male and although I've not seen any spermatophores yet (I see them for a short time every week), about 15 days ago one of the females had some whitish stuff on her cloaca, which could have possibly been one.

During november and december they were exposed to low temps, about 5ºC or slightly more. During january it's been unusually hot in my area, and although temps inside the tanks have never gone higher than 10-11ºC, they, in general, did rise over those of previous months. Now the cold is coming back and I'm worried this could condition them in some way.

Do you think I should use a heater to prevent the temps going down and gradually and artifitially increase the temperature, or should I just let the cold do its thing?

Thank you very much.

YouTube - Neurergus strauchii courtship
 
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Tim Robin

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Re: N, strauchii breeding

Nice video Carlos, they look very nice. I am not sure what to suggest for you to do about your temperature situation. Hopefully someone more experienced will reply and help you on that one.

An update on my group, two of the three females are looking very round, much more so than I have ever seen them. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but my fingers are crossed. I have added more rocks and I do see them hiding under them. I will keep you all updated. It has been a week since I saw the actual taking up of a spermatophore.
 

eljorgo

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Re: N, strauchii breeding

Amazing Carlos! :D Hope you have sucess!!
 

Jennewt

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Re: N, strauchii breeding

I received a message from Carlos that his strauchii still haven't produced any eggs. I moved his posts here to their own thread for better discussion. He now has them in the perfect temperature range for egg-laying (14-16C; 58-61F), but nothing is happening.

I wish I had an explanation. A lot of people have reported the same thing - appropriate winter temperature, courtship observed, gravid-looking females, but then no eggs.

Last year, my older group of adults laid ZERO eggs, even though they have laid eggs all other years. I don't have a good explanation. I blame it (perhaps) on the fan I was using to keep them at the right temperature; either it cooled them down too much for a few days, or it vibrated too much (it was sitting directly on top of the tank). I'm using a fan again this year (not directly on the tank), and they are laying. But really I doubt that the fan is the reason; there are things we don't know about why they breed or don't breed.

A couple of feeble ideas. Add limestone to the tank (or is that already limestone that I see?) Be sure that their diet includes a lot of earthworms, and they get plenty to eat all year round.
 

Tim Robin

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I have no explanation why my breeding group has produced so well this year, especially given their young age. I have a couple ideas but am by no means any expert. I will explain how they are kept. I keep them aquatic all year. I keep them in a custom designed exercise/newt room. That room is located in the basement with 2 of the walls made of concrete. It has a tile floor. It has a 3X4 window. They don't get any direct sunlight. The heater vent is closed. The room temp in the winter was 55-60F. They have no artificial light except the over head light that I turn on when I enter the room after dark. I did very little to lower their temp. The window does get opened for short times while either myself or Robin exercise. As for diet, mine are fed 80% frozen blood worms. They are offered frozed brine shrimp and krill. They don't seem to care for the krill. Recently they have been offered black worms, but don't seem to care for them like they do blood worms. I do feed them every other day or so year round.

Maybe it has to do with daylight hours? We do have long summer days and short winter days. Maybe it has to do with naturally occurring temperatures. I just don't know. I think my latitude is similar to their native habitat, although I may be a bit further north. I do feel very fortunate that they are producing this year. I hope they will continue in future years.
 

Azhael

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Raaaaarggggghhhhh!
You know how confident i was this was going to be the year...
I really hope temps drop a bit (we have gone from winter to summer in two days) and they decide to lay. I know for a fact you are doing everything right, and they are certainly ready, so it´s just sheer bloody mindedness that they are laughing at us like this!

Fingers crossed, Carlos...

And cheers for your time, Jenn, he is desperate, but i´m desperate too by proxy, so we apreciate it xD
 

ferreron

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I'm going to elaborate a bit more on the details to see if we can find something.

Mine are also exposed to a natural light cycle. The windows are small, but there is enough light to read, so I'm guessing it's enough. Also, as you can see in the image I uploaded, I'm virtually at the same latitude as their area of distribution.

The water in my area comes from groundwater, and since I live in a calcareous part of Spain, it's quite hard as it is. Nevertheless, the rocks in the tank are also limestone.

About the food, I alternate Gammarus and frozen bloodworms, Zoomed pellets, earthworms and Enchytraeus, although I'm not confident that they accept the Gammarus and the pellets, that's why I try to alternate and mix. During the fall & winter, they ALWAYS have Enchytraeus balls around (as in the picture), and Eisenella too. I have to eliminate most of it with the turkey baster, because I feed them more than they'll eat. I'm supossing that it's not a matter of diet.

The last factor I'd like to mention is altitude. I live at approximately 700 m above the water level. And this year it has hardly rained, just in case barometric pressure could have an influence.

I can't think of anything else right now ;-)
 

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Jennewt

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I live about 2200m (7000 ft) above sea level. Altitude is no problem.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe the temperature rose too fast, or fluctuated at the wrong time. I know that if the tank goes above 17C (64F), they generally stop laying completely. So if they were exposed to a couple of days too warm, that could have stopped them.

This can be a frustrating species it seems.
 

ferreron

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I live about 2200m (7000 ft) above sea level. Altitude is no problem.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe the temperature rose too fast, or fluctuated at the wrong time. I know that if the tank goes above 17C (64F), they generally stop laying completely. So if they were exposed to a couple of days too warm, that could have stopped them.

This can be a frustrating species it seems.
I didn't mean to say that an excess of altitude could be a problem, actually the opposite: I wondered if it would be beneficial.

At higher altitude, less pressure. Rain, in general, also implies a fall in atmospheric pressure.

Maybe other people that have bred them at low altitudes have been benefited by the fall of pressure that rain usually brings.

And since I don't have either thing... hehehe

Until last week, the temperature had always been under 15º C, and with the arrival of the sudden heat, it's been raising. These last couple of days it's gotten over 16ºC. Maybe another year.

Paranoid hypothesis aside, I must agree with you: it can be a very frustrating species :)
 
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ferreron

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Good news!! This year, both groups laid fertile eggs!!

Unlike previous attempts, they've been kept terrestrial almost all winter, but I don't think this had something to do with the success.

On a side note, they started laying when the temps reached approx 18 ºC.
 

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Azhael

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It´s taken some time, Carlos, but the day is finally here. Prepare for the Phase nº2: Invasion!
 

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Congrats! :happy: Could you tell me what size aquarium you keep them in for breeding?
 

ferreron

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Congrats! :happy: Could you tell me what size aquarium you keep them in for breeding?
Thank you! :p

The size of one aquarium is 101x31x41 cm, and I keep 4 of them in it. The other one is about 90x40x30 cm, with 5 animals.
 

sergé

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Dear friends,

in case you had not seen it, !

Greetings, Sergé Bogaerts
Conservation biology, husbandry, and captive breeding of the endemic Anatolia newt, Neurergus strauchii Steindachner (1887) (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae). Sergé Bogaerts, Henry Janssen, Jennifer Macke, Gunter Schultschik, Kristina Ernst, François Maillet, Christoph Bork, Frank Pasmans, and Patrick Wisniewski. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6(4):9-29(e53).

Download:

http://www.redlist-arc.org/Article-PDFs/ARC_6(4)_9-29_e53_high_res.pdf
 
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