, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 775-782

A skeletochronological study of growth, longevity, and age at sexual maturity in a population ofRana latastei (Amphibia, Anura)

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Abstract

Longevity and age at sexual maturity in an Italian population ofRana latastei were studied by skeletochronology performed on the phalanges. Frogs collected in 1998 and 1999 by drift fences and pitfall traps were marked by toe-clipping. After marking, individuals were released and the cut phalanges were processed for skeletochronological analysis. The maximum age so far recorded was 3 years in males and 4 years in females. The smallest male and female that were sexually mature on the basis of histological analysis of the gonads were 36 and 35 mm snout vent length (SVL), respectively. In both sexes, most individuals were estimated to breed shortly after emergence from their first overwintering. Among the European Brown Frogs,Rana latastei appears to be one of the shortest-lived and one of the first to reach sexual maturity.