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The reproductive cycle of the newt Triturus italicus

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This paper describes the reproductive cycle in male and female newts Triturus italicus (Peracca, 1898) from a mountain population living in southern Italy. The male shows a well-defined seasonal testicular cycle: spermatogenesis almost stops from November to March, resuming in April-May; the maturative stage of spermatogenesis occurs in summer and spermiohistogenesis is completed by late October. Spermiation starts in late autumn and culminates in the next spring. The female shows a seasonal ovarian cycle. Vitellogenesis starts in September; ovulation and egg deposition occur between late January and early June. Thus potentially long reproductive activity is demonstrated in both males and females of T italicus. Testicular and ovarian weights seem to be reliable indices of the reproductive status of an animal. Annual variation in gonadal weight appears unrelated to annual variation in fat body weight in both sexes.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative and Evolutionary Biology, University of Naples, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy


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