Breeding Salamanders

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Oct 20, 2006
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Has anyone here bred any type of salamanders in captivity? I have four Jefferson's salamanders (at least, I think so, they also resemble the blue-spotted), I've had them for years now (the oldest is at least 10 years old)... I'm going to redo their tank to have a more natural water area to be like the edge of a pond (instead of their frisbee water dish) and was wondering if there were any conditions that would be favorable to make them want to breed, if there is a chance at all. I'm not sure on their sexes but I read that the males only swell their reproductive area when it's breeding time, some of them seem to be swelled a little bigger than others, but I'm not really sure. Are there any other characteristics to look for?

I just think it would be great to have babies and release them back into the wild, because I havent found any in my area since five or six years ago when I caught the last one, and no one I know has ever seen them around here before.
 

Mushroom Spore

Arachnoemperor
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I just think it would be great to have babies and release them back into the wild, because I havent found any in my area since five or six years ago when I caught the last one, and no one I know has ever seen them around here before.
This is possibly the best reason to breed animals I've ever seen on a pet forum. :clap: I don't know anything about these guys, but I hope it works out.

Grabbed a link off Google that looked promising:

http://www.caudata.org/links/
 

Wade

Arachnoking
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Many salamanders are rain stimulated. For example, our local spotted salamanders Ambystoma maculatum head to the breeding pools during the first rainstorm of the year when temps are above 50 degrees. Any breeding program will probably involve manipulation of temperature and proably simulated rainfall. Time of year varies by species, however.

I know that some frog breeders have artificially stimulated frogs to breed by injecting them with some kind of hormones, but I'm not sure how you'd go about that, or if it's ever been done with salamanders.

Wade
 

JLDomestics

Arachnoknight
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salamanders are very hard to breed in captivity. That is why the majority of north american species in the pet trade are wild caught animals. Most, if not all north american salamanders will need to be cooled over the winter to prep them for breeding in the spring.
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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This is possibly the best reason to breed animals I've ever seen on a pet forum. :clap: I don't know anything about these guys, but I hope it works out.

Grabbed a link off Google that looked promising:

http://www.caudata.org/links/
Illegal too.

Except in special cases releases are not needed, and can be harmful. Captive breeding does take pressure off of wild populations being harvested for the pet trade.

caudata.org is your best bet. But you are prettymuch on your own. The best you can do is study the natural history of the animals, and duplicate the seasons and other changes in captivity. Since they are native to where you live that shouldn't be hard to do.
 

tallguy

Arachnopeon
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May 22, 2007
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you may have hybrids between Jefferson's and blue spotted. This can be quite common and then you would have polyploid(generally triploid) females most likely.
 

Ophidio

Arachnopeon
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May 21, 2007
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interesting project, but releasing the captive-bred young isn't a good idea. since your salamanders have lived in captivity for so long, they and any offspring they have are now most likely 'tainted', especially if you have other herps, or have used the tank they are in for something else earlier. chances are they are harbouring foreign bacteria and pathogens that don't harm them, but could cause unpredictable and maybe serious damage to wild ecosystems if they were released.

i think breeding them indoors would be difficult, they breed in early spring when the temps are quite cool, around 10-15c. they hibernate in deep burrows and emerge during spring rains, sometimes before the snow has completely melted. you'd probably have to simulate this.

also if they're native to where you live, chances are its illegal for you to be keeping them. in ontario at least, they are protected and you cannot own/sell/collect them. since you have them for so long though its obviously not a big deal now, but since you likely could not sell the offspring nor release them into the wild, there really isn't much sense in breeding them...
 

AviculariaLover

Arachnoknight
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Yeah I realize releasing them could be an issue... as far as owning the ones I have, we have a license we get renewed every year to keep local small animals for study/photography... supposed to be short periods of time I think but oh well, heh. They are listed as "of special concern" meaning they are becoming close to being threatened, but there are as of yet no restrictions pertaining to them.

Ive been doing more research and realize that yeah, it would be pretty tough to duplicate the conditions in the wild that stimulates them to breed. I think I'll be content with keeping them as my buddies until they pass of old age... at least to get a sense perhaps of what their lifespan is really like.

They are beautiful salamanders, and lots of fun. I'm a little surprised more people don't keep them as pets, considering tiger and marbled salamanders and such are quite popular... their colors aren't as immediately striking, but they get to be a good size. I think it's good there isn't too much of a demand to take them from the wild though.

Here are my buddies...

 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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It might not even be legal for you to breed them if you exceed bag limits for your state.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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Congratulations on keeping them for so many years! What's the average life span of these salamanders? I've had a couple of Sirens for around 5 years now. I have a huge book I bought in the mid eighties. "the completely illustrated atlas of reptiles and amphibians for the terrarium". It's over 800 pages long. It only gives brief tips for breeding salamanders though and doesn't say much more than what's already been said here. (ambystroma) It says, "breeding requires optimum nutrition. the animals are then placed (in pre-estrus) into the winters quarters and are transferred in spring to an aquarium with shallow water." That's all it says, not many details. I've always thought salamanders were interesting too. The first I found when I was a kid was a Smallmouth salamander. I still remember were I found it and that was about 30 years ago. Man I was happy that day.
 

8Pat

Arachnosquire
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Mar 6, 2006
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Hi!
I don't know for the blue spotted, but during my university years I did some field work on Ambystoma maculatum here in eastern Canada and we captured a nice female that was 34 years old! We did age determination by counting growth rings on digit bone (a non-destructive technique).
8Pat
 

JLDomestics

Arachnoknight
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Apr 24, 2007
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Hi!
I don't know for the blue spotted, but during my university years I did some field work on Ambystoma maculatum here in eastern Canada and we captured a nice female that was 34 years old! We did age determination by counting growth rings on digit bone (a non-destructive technique).
8Pat
Thats effin cool. That bee0tch musta been huuuuge.
 

8Pat

Arachnosquire
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Mar 6, 2006
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Possibly over 20 cm (9 in.), can't remember for sure.
 
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