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Reproductive Biology of Desmognathus fuscus and Desmognathus santeetlah in the Unicoi Mountains

R. L. Jones
Herpetologica
Vol. 42, No. 3 (Sep., 1986), pp. 323-334
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3892311
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Reproductive Biology of Desmognathus fuscus and Desmognathus santeetlah in the Unicoi Mountains
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Abstract

In this paper, I compare the reproductive biology of Desmognathus fuscus and Desmognathus santeetlah from the Unicoi Mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. Male D. santeetlah mature at approximately 30 mm snout-vent length (SVL); male D. fuscus mature at approximately 35 mm SVL. Males of both species show little seasonal variation in reproductive structures once sexual maturity is attained. Female SVL at maturity is 35 mm in D. santeetlah and 40 mm in D. fuscus. Males of both species mature at approximately 2 yr of age, females at approximately 3 yr. Oviposition in D. santeetlah peaks during June and mean clutch size is 21.3 ova. Mean clutch size in D. fuscus is 22.9 and oviposition takes place primarily in July. Mean clutch sizes of the two species differ significantly when corrected for SVL. Hatching in the laboratory occurs in 50-60 days in both species. Principal nesting sites of D. fuscus are beneath rocks along streambanks; D. santeetlah oviposit most commonly beneath mosses on rocks or logs in seepage areas. Differences in reproduction between the two species are as distinct as their genetic and morphological differences.

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