Successful breeding of Ambystoma opacum.

Greatwtehunter

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Saturday morning I checked in on my opacum because two of my females had been hiding under a piece of bark in their water dish lately and to my surprise I found eggs.

I caught these opacum as adults over 4 years ago and up until this past year haven't had any breeding, so this past winter I changed their whole setup around to try and turn that around.

First of, I designed the tank to where the water dish was the lowest point in the tank no matter what part of it the salamanders where at. In my head I thought that this may trick the salamanders into thinking their water dish was a natural depression.

The next major thing I did and I know this may sound odd but I let the temps in the tank get into the low 80's. This I thought serves the purpose of simulating their natural summer and would make them seek shelter deeper into soil. If anyone has looked for them during the summer you know how scarce they become.;) During the summer months I never refilled their water dish and just let it evaporate naturally. Oh, I should mention that the dish always had some leaves and a large piece of bark in it.
 

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huug

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Thats great news, Justin!
Congrats, what an awesome moment that must have been, lifting that piece of wood with the eggs suddenly under it.

I like the way your faked the vernal pond adn how you "imitated" the seasons..

I don't think they are bred a lot.
Very nice achievement,....
 

jbherpin

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I am roaring with applause!

-jbherpin-
 

John

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Congratulations Justin, and thank you very much for the details.
 

SludgeMunkey

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Congrats!

I have read of successful captive breeding of this species, but his is the first time it was substantiated with pictures!

Nice work!
 

Azhael

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Brilliant!!! It´s always refreshing and exciting to see ambystomatids being bred in captivity(well, some ambystomatids). I know these have been bred here in europe but apparently just a handfull of times.
Best of lucks with them Justin, and do keep us posted.
 

monkeyfrogman28

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Thank you for sharing!!! It is nice that some people share and explain what they did for others to try and learn. I hate it when some one breeds something and wont spill the beans on how they did it. I have seen it happen in other forums. Best of luck!!!
 

KennyDB

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Congrats Justin!!! This is just so GREAT! I'm looking forward for larvae pics allready :D
Thanks for describing your method, much appreciated :love:
 

Nathan050793

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Justin, I'm a fan. Thanks for sharing the photos and the information!
 

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Thats brilliant, the whole water dish being low. I have been strugling with the same issue. My opacums are in a tank with hyroton balls then cocofiber substrate and above plants and bark. The problem is getting the water stimulus to a salamander that mostly burrows and really shows no interest in the water. I will try low bowl trick. Thanks Justin, for your insite. You the man :happy:
 

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Ok, so I thought maybe I had just gotten lucky with the one opacum laying eggs but today I decided to flip the other leaves in the bowl to look for the second female and I found her with a nest of eggs as well. It looks like there is around 125-150 eggs total between the two nests.

I'm thinking I may need to remove the eggs. I peeked at the other nest and there was one of the males there instead of the female that is supposed to be. It was also evident that the eggs had been pushed around or trampled on. It still looks like the same amount is there just that they had been moved around under the log quite a bit.
 

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huug

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Well, no discussion possible anymore!
You are a skilled Opacum breeder!:cool:

Whoohaa!:D


Strange how the female left the eggs, sounds unnatural!
Might not be a bad idea to get the eggs out of there and replace them in a similar spot in another tank or plastic box.

Good luck with hatching and raising,......and offcourse being proud!You should!
 

freves

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I'll add my congratulations as well Justin. Good going!
Chip
 

froggy

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Fantastic! It might be good idea to only remove one clutch at a time, if you do remove any, incase something untoward happens (survivorship of opacum eggs decreases when the adults are removed in the wild, at least). Alternatively you could remove the males and leave the mothers, then flood the tank they are in in the spring and move the adults out until the larvae can be moved to raising tubs.

Please keep us informed!

Chris
 

Greatwtehunter

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I ended up removing both clutches but kept them in seperate containers. They were just getting trampled and spread around too much for my liking. All told I pulled 159 eggs and they all look viable, I can see the larvae moving around inside already.
 

Salmonella

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Awesome and exciting! Hoping that you will get to raise a bunch of hatchlings. :happy:
 

josh1990

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Wonderful! I had never thought of using a water dish. What kind of substrate are they on?
 

Greatwtehunter

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I use 50% dirt, 25% coco fiber, and 25% topsoil. Back in March I put a very light layer of mud (that I collected from a vernal pool) in the dish.
 
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