EVIDENCE OF COMMUNAL OVIPOSITION AND NEST ABANDONMENT IN THE NORTHERN TWO-LINED SALAMANDER (EURYCEA BISLINEATA, (GREEN, 1818)) IN NORTHEASTERN CONNECTICUT
Most plethodontid salamanders oviposit their eggs in an individual nest and attend the clutch until hatching. Here, we describe aspects of the reproduction of Eurycea bislineata (Northern Two-lined Salamander) from three field sites in northeastern Connecticut that contrast with the typical plethodontid reproductive behavior. Rocks used as oviposition sites contained up to 296 eggs, with an average of more than 100. These numbers exceed the maximum ovarian egg counts for this species, indicating that communal oviposition is common. The lack of correlation between rock size and number of eggs, as well as the lack of discrete clutches when eggs are laid in large clusters, suggests that communal oviposition may be caused by something other than nest site limitation. Additionally, the rate of maternal attendance at nests was low. Thus, communal oviposition with high rates of nest abandonment is the dominant reproductive strategy in E. bislineata at these sites.
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