FYI: Very strange Axolotl color morph...

Jake

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Anyone have an idea as to why one set of gills are smaller than the others? It hasn't been kept with others since it was a little over a half inch long, so I know they weren't bitten off.
 

bellabelloo

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He is a smashing little beastie! ( but I think you know that!) . I read somewhere that the different coloured axolotls grow at different rates, I think the dark/wild type seem to grow bigger than the white/golden, and I think the gill lengths on Pirate certainly reflect that he is unique..reckon you will need to dedicate a section on here to him!
 

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aren't like 80% of the population of axolotls asymmetrical? I have only ever seen 2 perfect axolotls. Genetic mutations (abnormalities) are common considering they have been soooo inbred (esp the albino or non wild type ones) and they have sooo much young. Something like that is not uncommon, even so it is also likely that it was bitte and is regrowing. I work at a pet shop and i have not seen one that is symmertical yet. Both my axolotls i own now are asymmetrical. My first axolotl was symmertrical appart from one gill being held on a wrong angle.
Correct me if i am wrong, i'm not sure if it is just australian axolotls but i find that normal axolotls are rare.
(one of mine has 2 fused toes and the other has wonky gills.)
 

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Chimaerism is quite uncommon. Having a completely lateral chimaera is incredible. Pirate Gary is not 'common' by any means.

If the gills were bitten, they would not be equally bitten on one side, leading to 3 gills being exactly the same length. They would also show signs of regrowth rather than being normal looking.

My belief is that because of the lateral chimaerism, there are different growth rates due to the different phenotypes being displayed.
 

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Well, Pirate's parents spawned again two days ago. There are around 300 eggs, so hopefully there will be another oddball
 

Jake

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"Pirate Gary"

here he/she is today, still growing steadily, he/she will be full sized in no time!

Teesha-his/her gills are always shorter on one side than the other, they are most definitely not bitten off because he's been in a container by himself since he/she was only slightly over 1/2 an inch (before cannibalism really sets in).
 

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Jake

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Pirate's parents newest batch of offspring are about the size that Pirate was when I first noticed him. There are about 50% leucistic and 50% wild-type with a single albino individual.

I looked into chimerism, and it seems that it's extremely rare. In the article AnnMarie posted a link to earlier it states that in 1950 the axolotl colony was doing research on axolotls that are similar to Pirate. It says that it is extremely rare (the researchers found three individuals out of several thousand) and that when it does occur, the animals are not viable. That's kind of bummer, but I still have hopes to see another in the future, even if it's a few decades down the line.

In the meantime, I think I'll dedicate a 46 gallon bow-front tank to Pirate, he is around 6 inches long now.
 

bellabelloo

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Looks like he is thriving ..really pleased to hear. I must admit I am kind of hoping that my golden is female as my wild type is male..would love to raise a batch of eggs just to see what comes out of it..wouldn't expect a pirate though!
 

i_love_necturus

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Man thats weird!:p But cool! I'm so happy that its doing so good, it's not every day you see something like this!

I'm also surprised its 6 inches now! I had no idea they grow so fast! I remember when you first started this thread and Pirate was sooo tiny, and it seems like only yesterday.

I'm sure Pirate will be happy in such a big tank. Good luck:D
 

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Thanks Ryan

Axolotls actually do grow quite fast. I have one (Pirate's father) that reached 11 inches in less than a year! It grew faster than any of the others, I'm feeding Pirate worms like crazy so he grows fast like his dad.
 

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i love the progress. To me it just looks like a asymmetrically coloured luecistic, but then the gills are odd, so that makes me believe it may be chimeric (i dont know a lot about chimericism? lol what ever!)
I bet your friend is kicking himself now! lol
Oh and also because it is one out of the hundreds of eggs that is different! (not wild type)
 

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I would guess that whatever mutation caused half of its body to be a different color ALSO caused the gills on that side to be smaller. A single "genetic event" can cause changes to many different body parts. It's a lucky axolotl to be alive! Good luck with it!
 

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i love the progress. To me it just looks like a asymmetrically coloured luecistic, but then the gills are odd, so that makes me believe it may be chimeric (i dont know a lot about chimericism? lol what ever!)
I bet your friend is kicking himself now! lol
Oh and also because it is one out of the hundreds of eggs that is different! (not wild type)
Teesha-


I find that hard to believe because half of his body is yellow, half is white. Also, the melanophores on a leucistic don't migrate off the back and head, but Pirate has melanophores all the way down his sides, and even some on his belly. He's definitely not a leucistic. I posted pics of him with a leucistic sibbling and it's very clear he's "special". I also recently noticed that he looks like he's has small iridophores on his tail, but I may be wrong.

A single "genetic event" can cause changes to many different body parts. It's a lucky axolotl to be alive! Good luck with it!


-Thanks Jen!
 
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clefty

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wow that is very cool! looks like the whole darker side of his body is somewhat bigger than the other...not just the gills...
 

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Pirate still looks pretty cool. How big is he?
 

Jake

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I haven't measured him recently, but he's between 6 and 7 inches long now. Still just a big baby.
 

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All i have to say is Pirate is one cool looking axolotl. I hope to meet him one day :p
 

bellabelloo

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I think he is a smashing colour regardless of his extra specialness. Lovely to see him again.
 
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