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A field study of reproductive interactions in Bosca's newt, Triturus boscai

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Observations of a free-living population of Bosca's newt, Triturus boscai, show that courtship behaviour in nature is similar to the behaviour observed in earlier laboratory studies. Complementary evidence was obtained on the behaviour called flick, which is sometimes inserted at the end of the static display phase, and may be viewed as an equivalent behaviour to the retreat display of the other small-bodied newt species. Sexual interference in the natural population was mainly caused by males. Two characteristic male behaviour patterns were recognised, the waiting position and the push-tail. Females tend to withdraw from situations of interference. Courtship sequences solely consisting of orientation and spermatophore transfer phases, so-called short-circuit sequences, may be interpreted as a male strategy to avoid the very severe male-to-male interference that exists in a wild population.

Affiliations: 1: R. Cooperativa 7 Bicas 130 3° E, 4460 Senhora da Hora, Portugal


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