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Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction

Herpetological Review

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Abstract

The Spotted Salamander is a wide-ranging salamander of the eastern United States that typically breeds in winter or early spring in ephemeral pools in lowland forests. Ambystoma maculatum is known to deposit 2-4 egg masses per year, each containing 1-250 eggs. As part of ongoing research into the ecology and reproductive biology of Spotted Salamanders in the Kisatchie District of Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA, we have been counting the number of embryos per egg mass. We captured seven female A. maculatum in a small pool, six of which were still gravid. We took standard measurements, including SVL, and then implanted a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT tag) into each adult female as was the protocol. About an hour after processing these animals we marked new A. maculatum egg masses found in the same small pool using PVC pin flags pushed carefully through the outer jelly. We did not have enough time to process them that evening, and it was not until a few days later that we photographed those masses. We discovered that one of the masses contained a PIT tag in the outer jelly that corresponded to one of the six gravid females that were marked that same evening. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PIT tags being the means, albeit coincidentally, by which a particular egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum has been assigned to a particular female. For our purposes, losing the PIT tag from the adult female is counter to the goals of our study of this population, and we will no longer be implanting PIT tags into gravid females.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction
Series title:
Herpetological Review
Volume
43
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
SSAR
Publisher location:
http://ssarherps.org/
Contributing office(s):
National Wetlands Research Center
Description:
2 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Herpetological Review
First page:
627
Last page:
628