SREL Reprint #1843

 

 

 

 

TERRESTRIAL COURTSHIP AFFECTS MATING LOCATIONS IN AMBYSTOMA OPACUM

JOHN D. KRENZ 1,2 AND DAVID E. SCOTT 1,2
1Inistitute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA

2Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, SC 29802, USA

ABSTRACT: The incidence of insemination in migrating female Ambystoma opacum was studied in a breeding population near a Carolina bay in South Carolina. Of 77 females that were hand captured substantial distances from the nesting area and then held in isolation, 24-38 (31-49%) produced fertile clutches. The capture of females during migration that had been inseminated before reaching the pond basin suggests that the timing and location of mating is more variable in this species as compared to other ambystomatids. The evolution of terrestrial courtship, coupled with the potential for high mate competition among males at the nesting area, may have provided an opportunity for sexual selection of an alternate male mating strategy.

Key words: Caudata; Ambystoma opacum; Terrestrial breeding; Sexual selection; Mating location.

SREL Reprint #1843

Krenz, J.D. and D.E. Scott. 1994. Terrestrial courtship affects mating locations in Ambystoma opacum. Herpetologica 50:46-50.

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