A unique reproductive tactic for the Bluespotted-Jefferson Salamander Complex exists in nature. The Jefferson salamander is now known not to breed in the lab with the blue-spotted salamander, which was previously thought to produce 'hybrids', the silvery salamander and Tremblay's salamander, between this supposed mating of Jefferson salamander and Blue-spotted salamander. The silvery salamander and Tremblay's salamander are now known through genetic testing to be polyploid females (only 2% of males survive and they are sterile). These most often possess two of each chromosome from the Jefferson salamander and one of each chromosome from the blue-spotted salamander, resulting in an LJJ genotype (also called a Tremblay's salamander. ) This genotype results when these polyploid females mate with a pure Jefferson salamander male, incorporating (often in warmer water conditions) the chromosome from the pure male Jefferson salamander into her egg, usually having an LJ diploid chromosome set or LJJ triploid chromosome set, to produce LJJ or LJJJ offspring, respectively. Often in cooler conditions, the LJ or LJJ female may mate with the Jefferson salamander male and only 'borrow' his spermatozoan to trigger genetic cloning of herself, not adding his chromosome (J) to her egg. The same polyploid reproductive strategy occurs for other mole salamander species. The presence of these polyploids makes it difficult to visually identify which species an individual may be, skewing population measures for both species.
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