Plethodon dorsalis Breeding Project

WalterRay

New member
Joined
Sep 3, 2020
Messages
14
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
13
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
14
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
13
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
14
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
14
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
14
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
14
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: 43
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Chat Bot:
    liz. has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    liz. has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    My axolotls were doing fine until the cycle int heir tank crashed. I currently have them tubbed and they wont stop shedding their slime coat, and my golden albino looks a little red, and his gills dont look too good. Theyre both flaoting and im keeping the tub at 18 degrees celsius and doing 100% water changes everyday, any help on anythingelse? can anyone help?
    +2
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger I would try to double up on Prime to combat the slime coat shed when doing the 100% water changes. Also, if it's bad, might want to consider a tea bath as a preventive measure.
    +2
    Unlike
  • AxolotlMama:
    I just wrote this on the post ^
    +2
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    Haha, great minds, right?
    +2
    Unlike
  • AxolotlMama:
    They sure do 😄!
    +2
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    @AkemiYousei thanks so much. Will do. I have also given them a tea bath before, seems to work their gills are looking so much healthier, my golden albino is swimming around frantically trying to jump out, should i be worried? my wild type is fine
    +2
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    Might be the stress, or the shedding bothering it
    +1
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    Make sure s/he can't jump out, and maybe keep her in a undisturbed, darkened place for a bit. See if that calms the goldie.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    KOsika has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    I woke up to my golden axolotl covered complete white. what do i do
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jaeger:
    Just found out, hes dead. :(
    +1
    Unlike
  • mcapanema:
    :'(
    +1
    Unlike
  • AkemiYousei:
    @Jaeger, Oh no! Sorry to hear. :(
    +1
    Unlike
  • AxelTheAxolotl123:
    my axolotl has white balls on its gills and the feathers have shrunk
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jasper2021:
    We have an axolotl called Jasper who is approx 3 years old. He was being attacked by his companion so we separated them. He has healed his wounds now but has got very thin. his lips have turned black. he was just looking still and dead at times but ears moved so we knew he was still alive. Hold earthworms right in front of him which after some time he will take you think good he is eating but then it pops straight out again. At the moment he is in the fridge. Not sure what else to do if he can't or won't eat !!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Wyn1993:
    Hi Jasper 2021,
    +1
    Unlike
  • Wyn1993:
    I am new to axolotls myself and one thing I learnt was that earth worms when in distress give off an awful taste - have you tried live river shrimp? Mine really like these and are always happy to 'bite' - I also give them live crickets and pellets which are really pungeant in smell and they always take these - even wait at the glass for them! So sorry to hear he was being attacked by his companion!
    +1
    Unlike
  • MelissaKenyon:
    Hi, just wondering if anyone could help with our axy, she absolutely loves her food and we've notice tonight after her worms( that she ate in one mouthful) that she ue was struggling to get up to the top for air. She's never done this before, she usually goes up every 5-10 mins or so. She is 6 months old and seems very healthy. Could it be a problem with our water level or water quality or could she just be to full?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    MelissaKenyon has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    MelissaKenyon has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • bearbear_13:
    I posted a thread about my axolotl if anyone is able to help me out!
    +1
    Unlike
  • bearbear_13:
    She’s not eating, her tail and gills have shrunk, she’s lot a lot of weight, and we’ve checked her water levels with no negative results
    +1
    Unlike
    bearbear_13: She’s not eating, her tail and gills have shrunk, she’s lot a lot of weight, and we’ve checked... +1
    Top