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Courtship Behavior of the Small-Mouthed Salamander (Ambystoma texanum) in Central Kentucky

James W. Petranka
Herpetologica
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 333-336
Published by: Allen Press on behalf of the Herpetologists' League
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3892335
Page Count: 4
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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.
Courtship Behavior of the Small-Mouthed Salamander (Ambystoma texanum) in Central Kentucky
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Abstract

Males of Ambystoma texanum in central Kentucky vigorously nudge females and other males prior to spermatophore deposition in a manner similar to that reported by Garton (1972) and Arnold (1972), but they do not dorsally amplex females or lead them forward to mount spermatophores as reported by Wyman (1971). Laboratory observations of courtship, as well as field observations of the spatial distribution of spermatophores at breeding sites in western Kentucky and southern Illinois, suggest that the non-amplexing pattern is characteristic of the species. Courtship of stream-breeding individuals differs from that of pond-breeding individuals observed by Garton (1972) in three ways: (1) the period between initiation of courtship and deposition of spermatophores is abbreviated, (2) females rarely nudge or court males, and (3) males often attempt to disrupt other males that are depositing spermatophores. The first two modifications may represent behavioral adaptations to breeding in streams, while the latter is presumed to be a form of sexual competition.

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