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Age Structure and Body Size of Mertensiella caucasica (Waga, 1876) (Caudata: Salamandridae) in a Population from Turkey

Nurettin Beşer, Aziz Avcı, Çetin Ilgaz, Sako B. Tuniyev, Boris S. Tuniyev, Nazan Üzüm


Here we present the age structure of a breeding Caucasian Salamander population from a high-altitude locality (Kazıkbeli Plateau, Kürtün, Gümüşhane; 2213 m a.s.l.). Age structure was analyzed by counting lines of arrested growth (LAG). Endosteal resorption raised difficulties of counting LAGs. Males were found to be average older than females. Range of age was from 5 to 11 years in males, 4 to 8 years in females and 1 to 3 years in juveniles. Snout-vent length (SVL) of each individual was used as body size and mean values were recorded as 64.24 mm in males, 58.45 mm in females, and 44.60 mm in juveniles. Difference of SVL between sexes was found statistically significant. Meanwhile, male-biased sexual dimorphism was calculated (SDI = –0.099). The SVL was correlated with age in both sexes as strongly positive.


skeletochronology; longevity; growth; Caucasian Salamander

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