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Sexual dimorphism and age structure of the Montseny newt ( Calotriton arnoldi)

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Patterns of sexual dimorphism and age structure were investigated in two populations of the newt Calotriton arnoldi, endemic of the Montseny Massif (NE of the Iberian Peninsula). In contrast to the Pyrenean newt ( Calotriton asper) sexual dimorphism in the Montseny brook newt is characterized by slightly larger females (60.3 ± 0.3 mm; maximum: 68 mm) than males (59.5 ± 0.2 mm; maximum: 64 mm) and more similar body shape between sexes. Both populations and sexes mature at the same age (3 years), show the same age structure and achieve similar longevity (8-9 years). Comparing our results with the framework of the variation of life-history traits in Calotriton, the Montseny newts exhibit fast sexual maturity and short longevity. Curiously, we have found a lack of covariation between age at sexual maturity, longevity and total body size in the populations of Calotritonspecies. Only in males, age at sexual maturity seems to be affected by altitude, but in an unexpected way: sexual maturation is delayed in populations at low altitudes. Moreover, the age at sexual maturity does not differs between the populations where immatures are terrestrial vs. those where they remain aquatic. Our results suggest that life-history traits in Calotritonnewts could be determined by selective factors that play their role at small geographic scale.

Affiliations: 1: 1Àrea d’Herpetologia, Museu de Granollers – Ciències Naturals, Palaudàries 102, 08402 Granollers, Spain; 2: 2Escola Superior d’Enginyeria Agrària, Departament de Producció Animal (Fauna Silvestre), Universitat de Lleida, Av. Rovira Roure 191, 25198 Lleida, Spain; 3: 4Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

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2015-09-07
2017-11-20

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