Raising Taricha rivularis eggs

otolith

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Back in April of this year I collected a handful of T. rivularis egg masses from one mile stretch of a Northern California creek. Half of the eggs were sent to another member (who has had better success than I) and the 4 clusters I kept ended up moving across the country with me to Baltimore.



Unfortunately the majority of these eggs ended up either fuzzing over or slipping prematurely.



Here are the four that made it about 2 months after hatching.



They were fed primarily blackworms and daphnia, with chopped earthworms and frozen bloodworms making up the bulk of the diet as they got larger.



They are now about 3" long and all have huge gills despite appearing to have completed morphing. Their skin is quite rough but they don't seem to show any signs of wanting to leave the water. As you can see they have darkened and reddened significantly as they've grown, I suspect that their belly color will intensify after they have transitioned to terrestrial life.







This is their new home, a 20 gallon tall filled about halfway. There is some watercress anchored to the driftwood and room for them to haul out when they feel like practicing leaving the water. Hoping to have babies available to other members in a few years :)
 

Wildebeestking

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What is the substrate in that tank? I wish my tanks looked that good.
 

frogman

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Are the eggs collected from the wild. I love this species and would love to own one. Good luck and keep us updated.
 

jewett

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They look awesome Perry! Most of mine have tiny gill remnants and basically look like juvenile newts but none seem interested in leaving the water. I am content to let them remain aquatic though- they eat great now and are not shy just real easy keepers. I worry once they are terrestrial they will be more troublesome / stressful!
Its great to see yours. I will try to take some decent picks soon and post photos of my guys!
Heather
 

otolith

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They are not as red as the wild adults and juveniles I've found, right now they look more like dark granulosa with black eyes. I have never seen advanced larva in the wild before so I am unable to compare them. I'll try and get some more photos in the next few days.
 

otolith

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In response to Wildebeestking, the substrate is Hagen/Fluval "shrimp substrate". People seem to mostly use it for cherry shrimp nano tanks but it looks great and really brings out the newt's colors. My only issue with it is the amount of fine sediment, it took about a week for the tank to finally clear up.
 

Wildebeestking

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It is rather striking. It would be great for showing off brightly colored newts. I'll have to look into getting some. I have that issue with my tanks all the time. I hate having to wait for the dust to clear away.
 

albear28

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this is a beautiful newt, don't see it that offend see them available by anyone, please keep us posted with new pics of these beautiful little guys.
 

jewett

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I took the first of my collected-as-an-egg-by-Perry morph out of the aquatic rearing tank today and placed it in its own plastic shoe box. I think it has already eaten! Hope you all enjoy!
 

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warrior

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That water depth is way too high,the creek you collected the eggs from are shallow.Thery are not pond dwellers.I've seen their habitat and it is either creeks or small waterfalls near creeks.I would lower the water depth to maybe 6 inches and give them more land if you hope to breed them.They do look good though,any updates?
 

otolith

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My 4 have all morphed out and are now terrestrial. They are quite shy now but do come out at night or when their enclosure is misted. All are eating well on several isopod species, and worms.
In response to warrior - water depth in the tank is only 10" and the filter output provides a current. The creek the eggs were collected in varied in depth from 3-36" and both adults and small metamorphs were observed in both shallow and deep sections of the creek. Eggs were mostly found in slower sections of the creek or behind large rocks that protected them from the current. Breeding is still at least several years away. I hope to provide them with a longer tank with both a shallow and deep section when the time comes for them to return to the water.
 

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Have they developed a deeper red coloration on their bellies after becoming terrestrial?
 

otolith

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I figured you can never have too many pictures of Taricha, so here is an update on these 4.

They have been terrestrial for the past 2 years kept in a naturalistic enclosure with wood hides, moss, madrone and tan oak leaves and 2" of topsoil. There is a resident population of wood lice that they snack on supplemented with earthworms and misc. insect larvae from the garden. The belly color has reddened slightly with age though not nearly as vibrant as some wild Rivularis I've found. All are approximately 4.5" and I would guess still have at least 2 years to go before they are ready to breed (still unsure of sexes).

They are quite bold and come out to eat worm bits from tweezers whenever the light in the basement gets turned on. They are a real joy to keep!
 

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Chinadog

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They look great. :) You could try dusting their pray with powdered Hikari Cichlid gold. Its definitely giving my baby pyrrhos better belly colour.
 

otolith

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Thanks for the tip Chinadog! I feed Hikari CG to some of my Triturus sp. and Alpines, I will see if there is any change and post back here. How long did it take for you to see a marked difference?
 

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I love it! Thanks so much for the wonderful pictures of such a rare and special species. I have some captive bred Taricha granulosa that are now 3 and a half years old ( basically fully grown). Most of the original batch of 18 I gave away to other member of this Caudata site. So far I hear they are doing well (I am very picky about who I give them to). I also have a new batch of yearlings that have recently morphed to terrestrial phase (several egg-layings worth)... A lot of work and responsibility but so far they are doing well. Trying to bring raising captive bred newts to an art so that the wild populations are left alone (I love all the Tarichas). It is possible to do! Thanks again for sharing.
 
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