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 07. Life history traits of a spadefood toad (Pelobates cultripes) population from a semiarid zone in the north east of the Iberian Peninsula


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pp. 57-61

Authors: Mariona Pascual-Pons, Neus Oromi, Eudald Pujol-Buxó, Marc Fibla, Delfi Sanuy & Albert Montori

Abstract:  Skeletochronology was used to estimate age and several life history traits of the Iberian spadefoot toad (Pelobates cultripes) from a semiarid zone of the Ebro Valley (in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula). The lines of arrested growth (LAGs) were clearly visible in all cross sections of the adult phalanges, showing fast growth in the first year of life, with large adult sizes. The growth, size (SVL) and age structure varied between sexes, suggesting that the larger size of females (mean±SE=76.14±0.95 mm; males: 71.76±0.90 mm) is related to a delay in age at maturity (3 years) compared to males (2 years). In addition, females were more long-lived (6 years) than males (5 years), resulting in a similar potential reproductive life span (PRLS=3 years). A data set including life history traits from several P. cultripes populations was used to analyse demographic variation. We suggest multiple factors such as altitude, latitude, predation, and soil characteristics can explain life history trait variation in this species.

Key words: Iberian spadefoot toad, lines of arrested growth, semiarid environment, skeletochronology


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