Shout out to blue spotted salamanders
Say hello to the blue spotted salamander (Abystoma laterale).
Just… wow. I don’t even know where to begin with these animals. I am just IN LOVE (and pretty miffed at laws for not letting me keep several dozen). There are actually all-female populations of these beauties and they don’t just clone themselves. Technically, these all-female populations are hybrids. It’s just.
Look, it’s honestly the weirdest form of reproduction I’ve ever come across so obviously i gotta tell tumblr about it: when one of these hybrids wants to make salamanderlings, she has to find a male of a different species ( the species she’s related to) and breeds with him. And guys? Guys? She doesn’t even USE THE SPERM’S GENETICS. That’s almost always just discarded. Instead, the sperm simply helps her eggs develop in the first place.
like damn. That’s COLD. It’s called kleptogenesis.
This doesn’t always happen though. Although the sperm technically STILL doesn’t fertilize the egg, the genetics are used anyway, which is how we get hybrids. This is part of the reason why ALL Abystoma are banned from California: they’re just too damn good at stealing manly lizard genes and creating hybrids all over the place.
Entire new SPECIES have been created like this, and are still reproducing like this now. The Tremblay’s salamander (Abystoma tremblayi) is a hybrid between the blue spotted above and Jefferson salamanders (Abystoma jeffersonianum). The SAME COMBINATION of A. laterale and A. jeffersonianum has ALSO created the Silvery Salamander (Abystoma platineum). Just. How amazing is that? Same species go in, entirely new thing comes out. The Tremblay’s and Silvery also contain THREE sets of chromosomes instead of just two.
to use a game reference, I’m pretty sure these guys are basically the Asari from Mass Effect.