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Reproduction of yellow-bellied toads Bombina variegata in a man-made habitat

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A breeding population of Bombina variegata-a prolonged breeder, spawning predominantly in temporary pools-was studied in a Swiss gravel-pit in 1985. During the study, the number of pools and ponds varied from 10 to 23, as a result of drought and exploitation. No significant loss of tadpoles because of pool drying was found. Spawning was observed from 6 May to 9 August. No distinct calling or spawning periods were found, although the activities varied markedly among breeding pools. There was a turnover in males and females during the whole breeding season. Mate choice was not size-selective, and in several pools there was no correlation between calling and mating. The results contrast with observations in other Bombina variegata populations. It is concluded that in populations living in artificial habitats, essential behavioral adaptations to a temporary environment may not be expressed.

Affiliations: 1: Zoologisches Institut der Universität Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland


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