From June to October 1994, we used drift fences to sample migrating red efts (Notophthalmus viridescens) in terrestrial habitats near a permanent oligotrophic lake in the Mastigouche Reserve, Quebec. Fences were placed up to 200 m from the shore and yielded a total of 1443 efts. Age was estimated by skeletochronology. More than 1200 efts (modal SVL 20 mm, age 0 , 1, and 2 yr) were caught while migrating toward the forest; most (83%) were caught in fences < 15 m from shore between 7 and 30 September. Efts migrating toward the lake (N = 226) were more frequent in June (39.4%) and August (37.6%). Those from three fences nearest shore (< 87 m) were maturing efts (modal SVL 32 mm; age 3–5 yr). Age and SVL were highly correlated in the eft population. Fence distance from shore and the interaction of this factor with fence side accounted for a significant portion of eft body size variation. Results suggest that maturing efts may need more than one season to migrate from terrestrial home range to spawning lake. Reduced migration during midsummer may be the result of adverse conditions on the forest floor. We estimated the median number of breeding seasons (2.5) in the study population by comparing age structure of the maturing eft population with that of adults in the nearby lake.
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