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Postembryonic Ontogeny of the Spadefoot Toad, Scaphiopus intermontanus (Anura: Pelobatidae): External Morphology

John A. Hall, John H. Larsen, Jr. and Richard E. Fitzner
Herpetological Monographs
Vol. 11 (1997), pp. 124-178
Published by: Herpetologists' League
DOI: 10.2307/1467009
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1467009
Page Count: 55
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Postembryonic Ontogeny of the Spadefoot Toad, Scaphiopus intermontanus (Anura: Pelobatidae): External Morphology
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Abstract

We provide a detailed description of and a staging table that portrays the ontogeny of the Great Basin spadefoot (Scaphiopus intermontanus Cope) from the just-hatched larva through the adult. We concentrate on the development of external morphological characters as observed in individuals raised under controlled laboratory conditions. We suggest that our staging table, besides providing greater detail, is more appropriate than a generalized staging table for describing the ontogeny of species within Scaphiopus. Also, unlike other staging tables, we delineate stage boundaries. We recommend the use of stage boundary criteria for the construction of all future staging tables. Our findings indicate that some aspects of Scaphiopus ontogeny may be unique. Unlike other anuran larvae with sinistral spiracles, the operculum in S. intermontanus does not pass through a stage in which there are two separate openings. Other features, such as mouthpart characteristics, may be useful for intrageneric larval identification; however, we show that at least the labial tooth-row formula variation is affected by both rearing temperature and geographic origin of the specimen sample. Finally, rearing conditions possibly affect the timing of certain developmental events in S. intermontanus. Specifically, the timing of hindlimb differentiation seems to be labile relative to when differentiation occurs in other morphological features.

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