The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 04. Differences in size at birth and brood size among Portuguese populations of the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra


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Authors: Rui Rebelo And Maria Helena Leclair

Abstract: Size at birth and brood size were studied in ovoviviparous Salamandra salamandra gallaica and S. s. crespoi from areas differing in hydrological regime. Gravid females were maintained in open-air terraria until parturition was completed. Sizes of offspring at birth tended to be less variable in populations from mesic areas, and brood sizes (numbers of offspring) were larger in a population from a xeric site. Large sizes at birth, close to those observed in viviparous S. s. bernardezi, could be attributed not to cold climate, the risk of larval drift or short pond duration, but perhaps to competition or predation by conspecific larvae. Large and small larvae differed in time taken to reach metamorphosis, but not in size at metamorphosis. Females from the xeric site gave birth to large numbers of small larvae, mainly in small groups and on separate occasions. In the wild, this probably results in the dispersal of a female's offspring among several ponds.

Keywords: fecundity, larval size, Mediterranean climate, metamorphosis, Urodela

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