Effects of Predation and Trophic Conditions on the Reproduction of Tylototriton verrucosus (Caudata: Salamandridae) in Darjeeling

Ritwik Dasgupta


The facts that small hatchlings emerged from small eggs laid under high predation levels prevailing at the lower altitudes of distribution of this species in Darjeeling while larger hatchlings emerged from larger eggs laid under lower levels of predation at higher altitudes, show that predation is not selected for large egg and initial hatchling size in this salamandrid species. Metamorphic size was small under high predation rates because this species relied on crypsis for evading predators. Egg and hatchling size are related inversely to levels of primary productivity and zooplankton abundance in lentic habitats. Hatchling sizes are related positively to egg size and size frequency distribution of zooplankton. Small egg and small hatchling size have been selected for at the lower altitudes of distribution of this salamandrid in Darjeeling because predation rates increased in step with improvement in trophic conditions at the lower altitudes.


Tylototriton verrucosus; egg size; hatchling size; predation intensity; trophic conditions; Himalayas; India

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2019-4-%25s-163-169


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