Plethodon dorsalis Breeding Project

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Louisville KY
Country
United States
Hi, I haven't really introduced myself on this site so here is a small introduction: I'm a sophomore In high school, I love reptiles and amphibians, I make music, and I play football.

Here is the actual post:

So, about a month ago I collected a 1.2 group of P. dorsalis from privately owned land in KY. I wanted to give breeding a try since they are not very territorial and not as confrontational towards each other unlike other species in the plethodon genus. I thought this might help them be more comfortable with each other and hopefully be more reproductive in captivity. I set them up in a 20 gallon tall with about 2.5 to 3 inches of substrate and another half inch of bark and other cover. I also set up a "cave chamber" in the far right of the enclosure, which is basically just rocks stacked to create the look of a cave entrance. I keep them at 68 degrees with a drop to 65-63 degrees at night(I am going to be putting them in the fridge in about two weeks).
This has seemed to work well for them, because two nights ago I saw my male court both females (I wish I got pictures but I was afraid to scare them with the flash). it is common for females to court in fall and lay eggs in the spring/early summer, so that is why I am still going to fridge them this winter.
I hope you enjoy this information and these picture. I'll keep this thread updated.

IMG_1955.jpg

Overveiw of the enclosure

IMG_1957.jpg

Cave Chamber

13F5E2D6-BF22-4E4F-8138-EFAF87B33A5C.jpg

Male P. dorsalis

IMG_1960.jpg

The two female P. dorsalis. I think the top one has eggs!?


Lastly, if anyone has any advice/comments/concerns please reply to this or reachout to me.
 
Last edited:

josh1990

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
66
Reaction score
11
Points
8
Location
Dublin Virginia
Country
United States
Display Name
Josh
Good luck man! Your set up and temps are perfect for small Plethodon so I hope you get them to breed. Keep us updated on any new developments! Fascinating stuff. Plethodontid salamanders are very underrepresented in our hobby and I’m glad to see more people taking an interest in them. By the way what are you feeding them right now? Any calcium and vitamin supplementation?
 

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Louisville KY
Country
United States
Right now they are eating nothing because I’m putting them in the fridge next week at 46 degrees F but usually they get fruit flies both the large and small species and been beetles all dusted with calcium low d3 once a week. I have them on a feeding schedule of 2-3 times a week.
 

josh1990

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
66
Reaction score
11
Points
8
Location
Dublin Virginia
Country
United States
Display Name
Josh
That’s great! My only comment would be is to try to give them as much variety in their diet as possible but I understand it can be difficult getting small enough feeders for smaller Plethodon. I give my Plethodon species a little bit of everything; fruit flies, bean beetles, rice flour beetle larvae, Phoenix worms, tiny earthworms/red worms, tiny waxworms, dwarf white isopods, springtails and white worms. Pin head crickets (esp banded crickets) are good too and so are lesser mealworms (buffalo worms) which are really quite soft compared to mealworms. In the summer I collect a lot of insects from my yard/woods that is pesticide free to collect tiny bugs like flies and fly larva, leafhoppers, smooth and hairless caterpillars and termites. Termites are a great food but just make sure to collect them from pesticide/herbicide free areas and from untreated wood and collect them from rotting logs or tree stumps. Dusting all their food items once every other week is a good idea too or you can “gut load” your bugs by feeding them really nutritious stuff like flake fish food, fruits/veggies and specially made insect diets. I use Repashy and Mazuri diets. Repashy makes a gel diet for insects they call Bug Burger that is a food and water source all in one that can make up the majority of the insects diet along with another gel called Superload a gut load gel that you feed your bugs 24 hours prior to feeding your amphibians/reptiles. They also make fruit fly media if you chose to culture your own flies. Sorry for the long post but I hope I gave you some useful information to get those little salamanders to make babies! LOL. If you have any questions just pm me but another member here Tim Herman (forum name taherman) is an expert on breeding Plethodontid salamanders and has bred many species and works at zoo with their amphibians. Good luck! Josh
 

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Louisville KY
Country
United States
Thank you for all the information and I will definitely mix up their diet more when they come out of the fridge and I actually started this project off by emailing Tim and he gave me some very good info. Everyone has been so helpful on this site and in this community it is really nice to see. Also just an update one of my females is very gravid I can see the eggs in her belly and she is very round so hopefully after the cool period she will lay those eggs 🤞
 

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Louisville KY
Country
United States
I put them in the fridge today they will be in there for two months
 

blufrgman25

New member
Joined
Dec 2, 2018
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Country
United States
Please let us know how this is going, I'm working on trying to breed plethodon cinereus. They're alot more territorial I'm afraid so it's been tough. I need larger tanks
 

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Louisville KY
Country
United States
Yeah, nothing really happening right know they are still in the fridge hibernating but one female for sure is gravid with eggs and the other seems to be developing eggs. I would always recommend large tanks I have more space than needed for my dorsalis and they are not very territorial at all, but it seems to help them feel more comfortable and apparently works well for breeding since I’ve seen full courtship(I think I might be the first to witness and document it since I haven’t seen it published anywhere). I’ve never kept red backs but I wish you luck on your breeding and getting some larger tanks. I will up date this as soon as they come out of the fridge in a few weeks.
 

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
Points
3
Location
Louisville KY
Country
United States
So I just wanted to update this because I have seen successful courting with both females and they both have developed eggs. Now, they probably won’t lay them until later in the spring because this species (in Kentucky) lays eggs in late spring and does not emerge again until fall. so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that they do lay those eggs and they do hatch. Enjoy this picture of one female with the eggs very visible in her stomach
 

Attachments

  • 09C30ACC-0CCC-4F71-9BE3-51D42E1737D0.jpeg
    09C30ACC-0CCC-4F71-9BE3-51D42E1737D0.jpeg
    605.7 KB · Views: 21
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Oh that’s in Fahrenheit by the way, I think in Celsius it almost got up to 24 c if I’m not mistaken
    +1
    Unlike
  • Toothpickthelotl:
    Axie is showing no signs of stress whatsoever
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    A short temp spike is unlikely to cause any long term probs
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • gemdimps:
    Hi 👋🏻 I am desperately seeking cycling advice
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    NewtPoot has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RCWaterPets has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Carly1502:
    Hi guys, I have a dwarf axolotl. Got him/her in February and since it’s grown to around 4.5 inches it has constantly been constipated. Having to fridge the poor thing every few weeks. Has anyone else got a dwarf and had these problems?
    +1
    Unlike
  • axolotl nerd:
    my cousin has a dwarf, he thankfully doesn’t have such problems. good luck though :)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    xxianxx has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Hey guys, one of my axolotls has developed some fungus on one of her gills, I've started salt baths, but do salt baths need to be done in the fridge, some people said I should have her in the fridge permanently during the process, even when not in the salt bath, is this true? As some people said its unnecessary as long as the tank is below 20°c which it is. Also do I need to get them both out the tank and clean it out?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Nagato:
    Does anybody know where I can find Triturus karelinii?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    RobynB27 has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Does anyone know if aquacare general tonic is ok for axolotls as a treatment for bacterial or fungal infection?
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    Hi Lilith, you can check the medications page for a list of axolotl safe treatments. Although if the infection is mild, I would stick with fridge and salt baths!
    +1
    Unlike
  • faebugz:
    I believe the fridge gets to about 54°, so if you can replicate that in the tank, it might be okay. I personally would fridge just to make catching them easier, and if the infection is something in the water column at all, it will hopefully die out while they're AWOL (I'm thinking like ich for fish, not sure if axies have an equivalent)
    +1
    Unlike
  • Lilith:
    Ok, thank you!
    +1
    Unlike
    Lilith: Ok, thank you! +1
    Top