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Courtship, reproduction, and larval development of Pachytriton sp Pachytriton A with comments on the taxonomy of the genus Paarung, Fortpflanzung und Larvalentwicklung von Pachytriton sp Pachytriton A nebst Bemerkungen zur Taxonomie der Gattung

, : Courtship, reproduction, and larval development of Pachytriton sp Pachytriton A with comments on the taxonomy of the genus Paarung, Fortpflanzung und Larvalentwicklung von Pachytriton sp Pachytriton A nebst Bemerkungen zur Taxonomie der Gattung. Salamandra, 332: 97-110

Besides the well known species P. brevipes and P. labiatus, two further taxa belonging to this genus can be distinguished by different phenotypes. Because the animals originate from the pet trade, and as no field data are available, we preliminarily describe them as Pachytriton species A and B. Furthermore, we report on a repeated successful reproduction of Pachytriton A. The courtship is similar to other tail fanning species like members of the genus Paramesotriton. After an intensive tail fanning, the males deposit several spermatophores over which the females creep to pick them up. Two clutches consisted of 84 respectively 85 eggs, which had a yolk diameter between 4.5-5 mm. The female shows intensive egg guarding. After 60-70 days of embryonic development at temperatures between 15-16 degreeC, the larvae hatch with a large yolk reserve. Until they start feeding, they grow 6-8 mm to reach a total length of 22-28 mm. At an average water temperature of 17 degreeC, the larval development takes 69-92 days. At metamorphosis, the larvae have a total length between 37-42 mm and a mass between 220-310 mg. Morphologically, the larvae are intermediate between the limnophilous brook larvae type ("salamandra type") and the rheophilous brook larvae type ("chioglossa type"). After metamorphosis, the juveniles start into a terrestrial stage. The juvenile ventral colouration differs considerably from the colouration of adults.

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