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Courtship behaviour of Neurergus (Caudata: Salamandridae)

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The courtship of all four species of the salamandrid genus Neurergus is described. The display behaviour is similar in all species, but there are differences in the temporal organisation of tail-fanning. The behaviour of these newt species resembles that of other Old World aquatic salamandrids in its general pattern, with tail-fanning the principal movement during the display phase. The spermatophore transfer phase includes a behaviour pattern during which the male turns back side-on to the female after spermatophore deposition and arrests her in a position where her cloaca is situated over the spot where the spermatophore was put down by the male. This movement is similar to the behaviour pattern described as ‘brake’ in all species of Triturus. In cladistic terms this shared behaviour pattern forms a synapomorphy for the genera Triturus and Neurergus.


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