|SREL Reprint #0946|
Diel Pattern of Migratory Activity for Several Species of Pond-breeding Salamanders
D. Semlitsch and Joseph H. K. Pechmann
The diel pattern of migratory activity for five
species of salamanders (Eurycea quadridigitata, Notophthalmus
viridescens, Ambystoma tallpoideum, A. tigrinum
and A. opacum) was monitored by terrestrial drift fences with
pitfall traps surrounding two breeding sites.
Individuals captured (N=1,124) in pitfall traps were censused at 6-hour
intervals during nine 24-hour periods from 1981 to 1983.
Census days were selected non-randomly in order to equalize the amount of
rainfall and mean air temperature between day and night periods.
This design allowed the separation of environmental effects other than
photoperiod from species differences in diel activity.
There were significant species differences in the
number of individuals censused among time intervals and between day and night.
N. viridescens and E. quadridigitata were
equally active night and day. A.
talpoideum and A. tigrinum were significantly more active
at night. There were no significant
differences in either mean air temperature or amount of rainfall among time
intervals or between day and night periods.
The results indicated distinct differences among
species in the diel pattern of migratory activity that were not explicable by
variation in air temperature and amount of rainfall. Species patterns probably reflect adjustments produced by
natural selection to avoid predation and desiccation.
SREL Reprint #0946
Semlitsch, R.D. and J.H.K. Pechmann. 1985. Diel pattern of migratory
activity for several species of pond-breeding salamanders. Copeia 1985:89-91.