Using preserved specimens, we studied the basic life history of the topotypic population of the unique Asian plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana. Of 51 individuals examined, 11 males and 13 females were judged as mature from the development of gonads. The ovarian eggs were large (diameter 3.7–4.8 mm) and yellow to orange in color, and the clutch size was about 8–10. These values approximate those of actually spawned eggs recently reported. Skeletochronological analyses revealed the average age of males (5.3 years) to be lower than females (7.3 years). The age at maturity and maximum observed longevity were four and nine years in males and five and 10 years in females, respectively. In the growth curves estimated by a von Bertalanffy growth model, the growth coefficient and asymptotic SVL did not differ between the sexes, although males (40.6 mm) were smaller than females (45.3 mm) in the average snout-vent length. The time and place of courtship behavior, oval development, hatching, and especially, whether the species shows aquatic larval stage or direct development, are important topics to be resolved in future.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2