TERRESTRIAL COURTSHIP AFFECTS MATING
LOCATIONS IN AMBYSTOMA OPACUM
ABSTRACT: The incidence of insemination in migrating female Ambystoma
opacum was studied in a breeding population near a Carolina bay in South
Carolina. Of 77 females that were hand captured substantial distances from the
nesting area and then held in isolation, 24-38 (31-49%) produced fertile
clutches. The capture of females during migration that had been inseminated
before reaching the pond basin suggests that the timing and location of mating is
more variable in this species as compared to other ambystomatids. The evolution
of terrestrial courtship, coupled with the potential for high mate competition
among males at the nesting area, may have provided an opportunity for sexual
selection of an alternate male mating strategy.
SREL Reprint #1843
Krenz, J.D. and D.E. Scott. 1994. Terrestrial courtship affects mating locations in Ambystoma opacum. Herpetologica 50:46-50.