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How little do we know about the reproductive mode in the north African salamander, Salamandra algira? Pueriparity in divergent mitochondrial lineages of S. a. tingitana

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Salamandra algira is one of the few species of vertebrates that displays intraspecific variation in reproductive strategies, making it a valuable study model in reproductive mode evolution. How pueriparity (viviparity) in S. algira arose remains unclear mainly due to insufficient information on the distribution of both reproductive modes in the species. This note summarizes what is known about pueriparous reproduction in S. algira and adds new data on the distribution and geographic limits of both reproductive strategies and mitochondrial lineages within S. a. tingitana across the Western Rif in Morocco, with possible implications for our understanding of the ecological context of pueriparity. The occurrence of pueriparity in two mitochondrial sublineages suggests multiple events of pueriparity evolution in S. algira, or a model of mitochondrial capture through hybridization and introgression across the contact zone.

Affiliations: 1: CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos da Universidade do Porto, Instituto de Ciências Agrárias de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas n° 7, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal

*Corresponding author; e-mail:
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