Tylototriton ID Needed

freves

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My guess based on size and general appearance of the head would be some kweichowensis variant. I have not heard of shanjing X kweichowensis hybrids. Jen's theory is interesting however as she mentioned a complete workup needs to be done. In any case I think that it is most important to keep this form separated from others in captivity. Whatever it may be it is very attractive.
Chip
 

eljorgo

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Well truth is we dont know for sure but I really doubt kweichowensis could join the list Jen. T.verrucosus and shanjing are very close with shanjing being considered as a subspecies of verrucosus but kweichowensis are totally different newts by their own. Bigger, stockier and having huge hide heads with more salient bones. From what I´ve seen (I´ve had all 3 species at my care) this is my conclusion.... But I might be wrong, maybe kweichowensis are really more closer to verrucosus and shanjing than we predicted... who knows..
 

Azhael

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I think it´s kind of possible that kweichowensis could be very intimately related to shanjing/verrucosus. To what degree is a question that will only be answered with genetics studies, but they could well form a complex.
The differences between verrucosus, shanjing and kweichowensis are small and they more or less follow a pattern. I wonder if an exhaustive study of the three "species" would turn out showing that the populations vary slightly from one form to another in a geographical meaningful way, that would be interesting.
 

Viv

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I live in North Eastern USA and it gets quite cold here in the winter and then it warms up,(obviously :)). What happens if they breed. Would I be allowed to sell them and would you advise me to sell them? If you do, what species should I sell them as?
 

Viv

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Mine look exactly like Joost's T. kweichowensis. So are they kweichowensis?
 

freves

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If they breed for you I do not think that you will have much trouble selling the offspring, either through the classifieds on this forum or other sites.
Chip
 

Viv

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I'll let you know when they might be for sale. Haha. The thing that is going to be hard for me, besides raising them, is how I am going to be able to ship them.
 

freves

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Well shipping herps is relatively easy however I think that you are starting to get the cart before the horse in this thread. To the best of my knowledge there have only been three US breedings of T. kweichowensis. The species is bred overseas with more frequency however. Concentrate on good husbandry and hopefully you will be rewarded with viable eggs.
Chip
 

Viv

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I meant to say if they breed but I was hurried to get off the computer by my brother.
 

Viv

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Since T. kweichowensis live in an area that might be affected by a monsoon,(I think) would it be appropraite to house them in a 50/50 water land tank but have a rain bar to stimulate the monsoon season to try and trigger the newts to breed?
 

Viv

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Hey guys. When I was cleaning out their tank, I put them in a semi-aquatic tank while I was cleaning the tank and the male after about 15 min started trying to get "on top" of the female. He also put his foot on her many times. Is this breeding behaviour? Should I keep them in this tank?
 

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This is not common Kweichowensis, I believe it is a undescribe species from south-east part from Yunnan( Mt Daweishan) In these years, they appeared in animal market with quite large quantity and replace most of real kweichowensis.
 

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This is not common Kweichowensis, I believe it is a undescribe species from south-east part from Yunnan( Mt Daweishan) In these years, they appeared in animal market with quite large quantity and replace most of real kweichowensis.
I had suspected this species to originate in southern Sichuan, specifically Liangshan Yi, but I think that your suggestion of Pingbian Daweishan is even more intriguing. There is an isolated record of T.kweichowensis about halfway between Daweishan and the main range of T.kweichowensis, and when I find out the source of that record, it might help determine whether that is truly the species concerned. Is there a particular reason, or evidence, that you suspect Daweishan as the origin? Being right on the Lao Cai border, it could also exist in Vietnam if that's truly the case.
 

frogman

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Those are cool. Were did you get them.
 

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I would say it is a T. Kweichowensis. Yet it has those broken stripes. So possibly a Mix of T. Shajing and T. Kweichowensis,
 

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The idea that the T.kweichowensis, T.verrucosus, and T.shanjing are a single variable species holds no water. It is quite easy to demonstrate separate species status, much harder to establish conspecificity, since it only takes one constant feature for the former, while ALL must be constant for the latter. Each is well-differentiated physically and genetically and shows little or no overlap in distribution or physical features. They do not share or commonly exchange genes. The many animals treated by the hobby as 'orange variants' of T.verrucosus are more than likely color phases of T.shanjing, though they might be one or more distinct species close to T.shanjing. I can see no reason to treat them as "T.verrucosus", as they possess the typical colors and patterns [albeit subdued in some] of topotypic T.shanjing and not those of topotypic T.verrucosus or of populations west or southwest of the type population. The original description of T.shanjing acknowledged a degree of variation which could represent two species or a degree of genetic introgression with T.verrucosus, but found the former to be quite consistant over a broad geographic range. That broad geographic consistancy indicates it to be specifically separate from adjoining populations of both T.kweichowensis and T.verrucosus, which are both also broadly consistant. There is no merging of features over their ranges, though each of these taxa contain variation which COULD indicate additional species. I continue to be puzzled as to why Nussbaum et al would simply allocate all non-Chinese animals to T.verrucosus, when there are fewer geographic barriers [and based on recent evidence, fewer physical differences] between the SE Asian populations and T.shanjing, than between the former and south Asian T.verrucosus.

On the matter of the new animals as variants of T.kweichowensis. This is possible, but I see it as unlikely. The original description recognized a fair amount of variation in this species, enough that the author allowed the possibility of more than one species being involved. Despite this, the species diagnosis included at least one trait which was consistant across a large range - fused red-orange lateral warts forming longitudinal stripes. In fact, for a long time [and still, from some exporters], all animals exported seemed to have those features. Perhaps a few had broken warts and stripes, which could admittedly be a possible rare variation within the species. More recently though, virtually all animals exported have had distinct warts and no lateral stripes, with rare exceptions which could be rare variants or true T.kweichowensis. This also coincides with noted range extensions into remote areas of Guangxi. If these were simply variants within the known range of a single species, then we should have seen BOTH forms commonly mixed, both now and even back when the species was first described. Instead, we see two forms, each presumably taken from a more or less single area of distribution, captured and exported in what is essentially complete isolation from one another. All of this is strongly indicative of geographically isolated and morphologically distinct species.

On the hybrid issue - highly doubtful. In addition to the points already noted regarding isolated and distinctive populations, animals of hybrid origin should show a mixture of features. We don't see that. We see animals which differ constantly from T.kweichowensis in lacking lateral fused warts, and also differ constantly from T.shanjing in possessing black limbs and head. Where are the rest of the "hybrids"? Where are the orange-head Guizhous? Where are the orange-leg Guizhous? Where are the striped shanjings? We see one 'variant' only, which argues against these being hybrids sharing genes for many differing features. I haven't mentioned black-legged shanjing, because these exist - in a single mountain range of Thailand, where there is no evidence of any other species or merging of features. Along with other differences, this too likely indicates a new species. Isolation or parapatry, distinctive and invariant traits = separate species.

Ensatinas are not a good comparison, as they represent what is thus far still a largely unique case in herps and a rarity among animals in general. They are decidedly NOT a single species, but the huge amount of genetic divergence among even nearby and physically similar animals makes it difficult to determine just how many species are involved and where one ends and another begins. A purely logical case can be made for naming a large number of perfectly valid species, but this raises the question of whether there is anything practical gain in naming a swarm of parapatric and largely indistinguishable species.

Eastern newts are also not a good comparison, as they have an essentially continuous range and differ only in trivial features of color which are to some degree scalar in nature. While there is considerable genetic variation and several main lineages which mostly coincide with the named subspecies, there is little to indicate that those lineages have any long isolation from one another. There is also evidence that in many locations the genetics do not coincide with the physical features and interbreeding is taking place freely.

Neurergus might be a better comparison - several species with small but constant differences in appearance, mostly separate and isolated geographic ranges, and sometimes differences in habitat type, but with the possibility that some of these may be complexes of parapatric species in addition to clearly distinguished allopatric species.

The description of T.notialis provides a good accounting of similar questions in subgenus Yaotriton, and also presents relevant information regarding distinguishing features in species of this genus. It also demonstrates the distinctiveness of the species of subgenus Tylototriton, though without an extensive range-wide comparison. It can be downloaded free from the lead author's website.
 

Azhael

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Thank you for such an informative post!
I have a question. Couldn´t the geographical isolation and consistent but "mild" morphological differences between the T.kweichowensis and the T.cf.kweichowensis be an indication of subspeciation?? I´ve made it very clear that i am quite ignorant about Tylototriton sp. with my previous wild and unfounded speculation xD but i wonder why you find it unlikely that they could be the same species (i get why they are unlikely to be variants, though).
 

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There is very little reason to recognize ANY subspecies. The definition of a subspecies is exactly the same as the definition of a species. If an organism meets the requirements of subspecies status, it meets the standards of a species. If it does not, it merits no recognition at all.

Where they continue to be recognized, subspecies generally have less differentiation from one another than do species [this is entirely arbitrary], especially genetically, and they freely interbreed at their boundaries. You should see traits normal for each subspecies occuring well within the range of other subspecies, since 'freely interbreeding' means that genes and traits will spread from a point of contact. If those traits do not spread from the point of contact, as for example Anaxyrus americanus vs. A.hemiophrys or Dicamptodon ensatus vs. D.tenebrosus, then they are not freely interbreeding and are functioning biologically as separate species. Here, we have no evidence of interbreeding at all. Animals come in either almost all with distinct warts, or almost all with fused warts, and wart morphology has proven a very reliable trait in this genus to distinguish species. If we start seeing shipments of salamanders with mostly 3/4 fusion, or mostly 1/2 fusion, etc. ... then that could be evidence of intermediate populations and a gradient indicative of a single interbreeding species. It might also indicate additional isolated anddistinct species. Meanwhile though, without evidence of interbreeding, it is illogical to conclude that reliably dissimilar animals are anything but separate species.
 
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