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    P2: Herpetology: Life History

    2021-07-27   16:00 - 18:00

    To view the posters go to You will be able to chat one-on-one during the Tuesday poster session, the e-poster platform.

    1.  16:00  The Effect of Variation in Growth Rate on Metamorphosis in the Three-Lined Salamander, Eurycea guttolineata. Brittany Maldonado, Southeastern Louisiana University; Corey Samples, Southeastern Louisiana University; Claire Crookston, Southeastern Louisiana University; Tyler Brock, Southeastern Louisiana University; Christopher Beachy*, Southeastern Louisiana University

    Metamorphosis of larval plethodontids is unique among all animals in that variation in growth rate fails to affect metamorphic timing. However, there are only a few studies (four) and only one of them for a species in the Spelerpini (i.e., Eurycea wilderae). Coincident with a sampling effort for a different project, we captured 20 hatchling larval Eurycea guttolineata. This is a rare event. We took this opportunity to conduct a larval growth experiment in the lab. We fed larvae either hatchling brine shrimp or California blackworms. One group of larvae was fed these items ad libitum and another group had a restricted access to food. The intention was to have a rapidly-growing group of larvae and a slow-growing group of larvae. Food treatments had their intended effects and we recorded duration of larval period and size at metamorphosis. Individuals were killed and preserved at the end of the experiment for sex and allocation (fat body size) determination. Growth variation caused variation in metamorphic size, how there was not an effect on metamorphic timing. This remarkable result remains restricted to the Plethodontidae and we hypothesize that this is related to diversity in life cycle expression in this diverse family.

    2.  16:00  Larval life history of the Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata) in Louisiana. Brittany Maldonado*, Southeastern Louisiana University

    Life history aspects of organisms vary under different conditions. For organisms with large ranges, describing life history from only a small area may underrepresent existing variation. The Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata) is found in forested wetlands, streams, and seepages throughout the southeastern United States. Accounts of larval period length, size of larvae, timing of metamorphosis and other life history aspects are most heavily described for populations in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Anecdotal descriptions exist for the Gulf Coast, but a detailed year-long study is warranted. I am sampling populations of larval Eurycea guttolineata in southeast Louisiana for a period of one year using leaf litter bags and dipnet surveys. By studying Eurycea guttolineata in the southwestern extent of its range, I will generate a more holistic description of its life history and contribute to the understanding of how life history can vary throughout range. Knowing more about life history variation within a species provides baseline data that can inform management, conservation, and ecosystem function in a rapidly changing landscape.

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