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Age structure and growth in a population of Pelobates varaldii (Anura, Pelobatidae) from northwestern Morocco

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Age structure and growth in the Moroccan spadefoot toad, Pelobates varaldii were estimated by skeletochronology and reported for the first time for a population living in NW Morocco. Snout vent length and body mass did not significantly differ between the sexes, although females appeared larger and heavier than males. Age ranged 2-7 years in males (mean age±SD: 4.5±1.2, n = 66) and 2-10 years in females (4.7±2.4, n = 20). The difference in age was not significant between the sexes. The modal age was 5 years for males and 3 years for females. The age distributions significantly differed between the sexes. Von Bertalanffy growth curves showed a similar profile between the sexes although growth coefficient was higher in males than in females. Longevity and growth rates of P. varaldii were compared with those of other species of the genus Pelobates.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Cinthia, I-80126 Napoli, Italy;, Email:; 2: School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK, Society for the Preservation of Herpetological Diversity, Oude Molstraat 2E, 2513 BB, Den Haag, The Netherlands; 3: CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal; 4: Dipartimento di Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale, Università di Napoli Federico II, Via Cinthia, I-80126 Napoli, Italy; 5: Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Via G. Giolitti, 36, I-10123 Torino, Italy


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