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Phylogeny, age structure, growth dynamics and colour pattern of the Salamandra algira algira population in the Edough Massif, northeastern Algeria

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The distribution of the Fire Salamander in North Africa is discontinuous and the Edough Peninsula, Algeria, is considered as the eastern edge of the distribution area. In the current study, we establish a description of the Salamandra algira algira population in its type locality. In this context, an analysis of the mitochondrial DNA D-loop of 47 sequences comes to confirm the phylogenetic status of our population with regard to the other Algerian and Moroccan populations. Also, we used the skeletochronological method for establishing the age structure of the population. Maximum longevity reached 18 years, with a high frequency of young adults, which suggests a good survival of the juveniles. The growth of males is faster than that of the females, although the maximum size of the males is 180 mm, while that of the females is 210 mm. The Edough’s salamander’s phenotype is characterized by multiple small white spots dispersed in different parts of the body (belly, sides, legs and throat) and a high number of large red spots. These red spots are surrounded by a ring of small white spots on the lower part of the body and sometimes on the legs, thus creating specific eyespots that are often aligned along the lower sides.

Affiliations: 1: 1Laboratoire d’Ecologie des Systèmes Terrestres et Aquatiques, Faculté des Sciences Sciences, Université Badji Mokhtar, 23000 Annaba, Algeria ; 2: 2UMR 5023 Laboratoire d’Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes naturels et anthropisés, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon1, CNRS, ENTPE, bât. Darwin C, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France ; 3: 3Institut Universitaire de France, 75005 Paris, France

*Corresponding author; e-mail:

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