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.

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pdf 05. Do predator chemical cues affect oviposition site selection in newts

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Open Access

pp.189-193

Authors: Germán Orizaola And Florentino Braña

Abstract: Predation on larval stages has been reported to play an important role in structuring amphibian communities, and for this reason the choice of suitable oviposition places is likely to influence newt fitness. In this study, we assessed whether females of four newt species - marbled newt (Triturus marmoratus), alpine newt (T. alpestris), palmate newt (T. lzelveticus) and Bosca's newt (T. boscai) - avoid chemical cues of predatory brown trout (Salmo trutta) in selecting their oviposition site. In laboratory tests, individual females were allowed to choose their oviposition site between places with water conditioned by fish chemicals and others with unconditioned water. T. marmoratus females selected preferentially tubs without predator cues as oviposition sites, whereas the other three species did not show significant preference under these conditions. Absence of chemical recognition capabilities, strong philopatry towards oviposition site or predator avoidance based in habitat characteristics are suggested as possible causes of the lack of chemical predator avoidance detected in this experiment.

Keywords: amphibians, egg-laying, predation, Triturus, trout

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