Malformations and body injuries in a hybrid zone of crested newts (Caudata: Salamandridae: Triturus cristatus superspecies)

Zdeněk Mačát, Lenka Jeřábková, Antonín Reiter, Martin Rulík, Daniel Jablonski


Morphological abnormalities occur frequently in wild amphibian populations. We analysed malformation and injuries in the hybrid zone of three crested newt species, in the Czech Republic. In total, 274 individuals from 35 localities in South Moravia (Czech Republic) were examined during the period 2010-2014. Malformations were found in eight newts (2.9%) from seven localities. Injuries were recorded on 59 newts (21.5%). Proportions of tail crest injuries was significantly higher (P ˂ 0.1) in males than in females and the probability of being injured was significantly higher (P ˂ 0.01) for adult individuals. We discuss gene mutation, parasitism and predation as possible explanations for our observations.

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