Reproductive Structures in Mertensiella caucasica and M. luschani (Amphibia: Salamandridae)

R. Brizzi, M. Sevinç, G. Tanteri


Although different in some aspects of their sexual biology, Mertensiella caucasica and M. luschani share various anatomical characters related to their reproduction. Males of Mertensiella have a tubercle on the dorsal surface of the tail. This structure plays a stimulating role on the female cloaca in the preliminary steps of the mating, namely before the male deposits a spermatophore and the female picks it up in her cloaca. A surprising finding is that females of M. luschani posses a rudiment of tail tubercle, which discloses new perspectives on the original function of this structure. Males of Mertensiella exhibit four types of cloacal glands (Kingsbury’s, pelvic, ventral and dorsal glands), whereas females possess spermathecae for sperm storage and internal fertilization.


Mertensiella; reproductive structures

Full Text:



Arnold S. J. (1987), «The comparative ethology of courtship in salamandrid salamanders, I. Salamandra and Chioglossa», Ethology, 74, 133 – 145.

Basoglu M. and Atatur M. (1975), A new population of the Lycian salamander, Mertensiella luschani (Steindachner) in the Antalya region of southwestern Anatolia», Ege Univ. Fen. Fak. Mec. Ser., B40, 89 – 93.

Basoglu M. and Baran T. (1976), The subspecific status of the population of Mertensiella luschani (Steindachner) in the Antalya region of southwestern Anatolia», Ege Univ. Fen. Fak. Ilmi Raporlar Ser., 253, 3 – 13.

Brizzi R., Calloni C., Delfino G., and Lotti S. (1996a), «The male cloaca of Salamandra lanzai with notes on the dorsal glands in the genera Salamandra and Mertensiella in relation to their courthship habits», Herpetologica, 52, 505 – 515.

Brizzi R., Delfino G., and Jantra S. (1996b), «Comparative anatomy and evolution of the male dorsal glands in the Salamandridae (Amphibia, Urodela)», Acta Biol. Benrodis, 8, 61 – 77.

Griffiths R. A. (1996), Newts and Salamanders of Europe, T. & A. D. Poyser Natural History, Cambrige.

Özeti N. (1979), «Reproductive biology of the salamander Mertensiella luschani antalyana», Herpetologica, 35, 193 – 197.

Schultschik G. (1994a), «Zur Fortpflanzungsbiologie von Mertensiella caucasica (Waga, 1876) (Urodela: Salamandridae)», Abh. Ber. Naturk. Magdeburg, 17, 163 – 175.

Schultschik G. (1994b), «Mertensiella luschani: Haltung, Nachzucht und Freilandbeobachtungen», Salamandra, 30, 161 – 173.

Sever D. M. (1992), «Comparative anatomy and phylogeny of the cloacae of salamanders (Amphibia: Caudata). IV. Salamandridae», Anat. Rec., 232, 229 – 244.

Sever D. M., Sparreboom M., and Schultschik G. (1997), «The dorsal tail tubercle of Mertensiella caucasica and M. luschani (Amphibia: Salamandridae)», J. Morphol., 232, 93 – 105.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

You can subscribe to the print or electronic version of the journal on the site of EastView Company. If you have any questions, please write to the email