|SREL Reprint #0590|
History Aspects of Paedogenic Populations of the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma
Three populations of the mole salamander, Ambystoma
talpoideum, were studied in South Carolina. Terrestrial, fossorial adults migrate to water to breed in
late fall or early winter and return to land the following spring.
The larvae hatch in early spring. Metamorphosis
can occur at any time provided the individual has achieved a minimum size
estimated at greater than 25 mm snout-vent length.
If the young remain in the water through the following fall, they mature
sexually. Most metamorphose 12 to
15 months after hatching, but a few remain permanently aquatic. Larval reproduction in other species of Ambystoma has
been linked to unfavorable terrestrial environments. As the southeastern U. S. generally offers favorable
terrestrial habitat may be more crucial. If
the aquatic habitat is suitable for larvae, they do not metamorphose prior to
sexual maturity. If aquatic
conditions become unfavorable they may transform before they reach sexual
maturity and emerge as immature terrestrial forms.
SREL Reprint #0590
Patterson, K.K. 1978. Life history aspects of paedogenic
populations of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum.