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Variation in age at metamorphosis across a latitudinal gradient for the tailed frog, Ascaphus truei

Herpetologica

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and ORCID iD

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Abstract

Tailed frogs (Ascaphus truei) occur in permanent, cold streams in northwestern North America. Their tadpoles reportedly undergo metamorphosis after 2-4 years. Coastal populations that we examined transformed in 2 yr from the Olympic peninsula in Washington to northern Oregon, but in 1 yr from central Oregon to northern California. One inland site in northern California had a 2-yr period. Age at metamorphosis was consistent over different years. We suggest that total length and developmental stage accurately define cohorts for larval Ascaphus. Hind-leg length indicates whether metamorphs are a separate age class from tadpoles. Age at metamorphosis (1-4 yr) appears to reflect broad differences in climatic conditions. However, at a regional scale, variation is low and suggests a lack of sensitivity to local environmental conditions. This may be due to seasonal constraints on the time when metamorphosis occurs (late summer).

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Variation in age at metamorphosis across a latitudinal gradient for the tailed frog, Ascaphus truei
Series title:
Herpetologica
Volume:
55
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Allen Press
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
9 p.
First page:
283
Last page:
291