Life history traits in Bufotes variabilis (Pallas, 1769) from 2 different altitudes in Turkey


Abstract: Life history characteristics (e.g., longevity, age at maturity, body size, and body mass) of the green toad, Bufotes variabilis, were investigated from 2 populations inhabiting different altitudes (Çankırı, 960 m a.s.l., n = 57; Adana, 13 m a.s.l., n = 52) in Turkey. Age was determined using skeletochronology. The oldest individual was 11 years old (range: 4-11 years) in the highland population, while the oldest individual was 6 years old in the lowland population (range: 2-6 years). Sexual maturity was estimated at 3-4 years in the highland population and 2-3 years in the lowland population by the skeletochronological pattern. Mean body length was found to be 70.41 and 69.42 mm and 54.18 and 56.11 mm for females and males of the highland and the lowland populations, respectively. While mean body mass of the females and males from the highland population was 44.83 and 42.73 g, it was 19.09 and 19.66 g in the lowland population, respectively. Mean age, SVL, and body mass in the highland population were found to be significantly higher than in the lowland population. Colder climate, sufficient food availability, less human impact, and lower predator density in the highland population may explain the differences between the 2 populations. In addition, a significant positive correlation was found between age and body measurements (SVL and body mass) in both males and females of the populations.

Keywords: Bufotes variabilis, life history traits, age structure, altitude, body size, Turkey

Full Text: PDF