I studied the life history of Striped Newts (Notophthalmus perstriatus) at a breeding pond in north-central Florida. Newts were captured in pitfall traps at a drift-fence as they migrated into and out of the pond basin. During the 2-year study, I recorded 10,290 captures (8,127 individuals) of newts at the drift-fence. Newts were active during each month of the study, but there were four peak activity periods, each of which included immigration and emigration events. Immigration events were almost exclusively comprised of adults, whereas emigration events were comprised of adults and recently transformed larvae. I documented 5,296 recently transformed, immature larvae (efts) and 435 recently transformed mature larvae (paedomorphs) during four distinct periods of emigration. Efts matured in the uplands before returning to the pond to breed. In the uplands, male efts (n = 16) grew 0.0183 mm/day on average, whereas average female (n = 24) growth was 0.0167 mm/day. Immigrating adults of both sexes were significantly smaller than emigrating adults. Emigrating efts were smallest, followed by emigrating paedomorphs, immigrating adults, then emigrating adults. The overall adult sex ratio was 1:1.25 (m:f). Sex ratio of emigrating paedomorphs was highly skewed towards females, with one male for every 4.43 females. Newts tended to move during wetter periods, and captures were significantly correlated with rainfall, but rainfall was a poor predictor of the magnitude of newt movements.
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Life history of the striped newt at a north-central Florida breeding pond