RE: NANFA-- Hellbender questions
Mon, 12 Jan 2004 13:03:50 -0600

Steffen (>>>) writes and Jan (---) replies:

>>>Yes, they are large, can live longer than 50 years (every fire slamander
as well, recorded up to 52 years in captivity). Compared to human
aging-potential and maturing they4re fast!<<<

--- Compared with the taxa commonly cultivated by aquarists (killifish,
livebearers, shiners, darters), they're slow and logistically problematic.

>>>Limited dispersal information is
limited itself as hardly anybody has really studied if and how far the can

--- Adults occassionally migrate long distances (up to 3500 m) but most have
restricted movements. Home ranges < 350 sq m are documented for a
Pennsylvania stream, < 100 sq m in the Niangua River, Mo. Check out
citations in "Salamanders of the United States and Canada" by James W.

>>>The genetic differences even between the two subspecies are not
substantial (if I interpreted available literature correctly). The latter
would make it easier replacing specimen/transferring to nearby

--- It is unclear whether the two forms are species or subspecies. It is
very clear that genetic differences ARE substantial. An allozyme study in
1977 indicated little variation among populations but a 1993 mtDNA study
indicated 15 different haplotypes for 21 populations studied. Haplotypes
were clustered geographically (by drainage or state), but some were
apparently absent from nearby streams within the same drainage. It may be
"easy" to replace or transfer specimens but it may not be genetically
advisable. see Eric Routman's "Mitochondrial DNA variation in
Cryptobranchus...." in Copeia 1993(2): 407-416. [Note for sturgeon
enthusiasts - genetic resolution of pallid and shovelnose sturgeon was also
obscured by early allozyme data, and clarified by later DNA data]

>>>...the topic in general is the same as for many NANF.<<<

Perhaps, but I am unaware of any large, long-lived, slow-to-mature T&E NANF
that have been successfully propagated by private individuals.
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