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Oviposition site selection in three species of European Newts (Salamandridae) genus Triturus

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Oviposition site selection in Triturus helveticus, T. alpestris and T. cristatus was studied both in natural and laboratory situations. In a natural breeding site, eggs of the three species were not laid equally on several plants: T. cristatus laid practically all their egges on only one plant (Nasturtium officinale) while T. helveticus eggs were collected on four plant species. In laboratory experiments, plastic and cotton fabric supports made it possible to test ovipositing female selectivity according to flexibility and shape of support and egg-laying distance below the surface. In all three species, a high proportion of eggs were laid on supports of linear shape (as opposed to arborescent shape) and egg frequency decreased as a function of depth (from 0 to 40 cm below the surface). Selection according to flexibility was also observed, the smallest species (T. helveticus) laying more eggs on the thinner supports. The role of support selectivity during oviposition in Triturus is discussed, in term of proximate (i.e. female protection against predators, breathing necessity) and ultimate (i.e. egg survival) factors, and related to new ecology.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Biologie Animale et Ecologie, Université C. Bernard Lyon I, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, FranceLaboratoire d'Ecologie des Vertébrés, Centre Interdisciplinaire Scientifique de la Montagne, Université de Savoie, 73376 Le Bourget du Lac Cedex, France

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853895x00064
1995-01-01
2016-12-02

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