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1 March 2009 Reproductive Activity, Diet, and Microhabitat Use in Bolitoglossa nicefori (Caudata: Plethodontidae)
Jesús E. Ortega, John Maury Monares-Riaño, Martha Patricia Ramírez-Pinilla
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Bolitoglossa nicefori is a terrestrial salamander only known from its original description. We report the discovery of two populations of this species; analyze annual reproductive activity, diet, and microhabitat use of one population; and compare this information with that known for other species of Bolitoglossa. Sexually mature males ranged between 29 and 50 mm standard length and females between 39 and 75 mm. Histological analyses of testes and ducts revealed the presence of sperm through the year, indicating continuous reproductive activity for males. Adult females were captured year-round; however, reproductive females were observed only during the driest months of the year (November to February), indicating that females have a seasonal reproductive activity. The contents of 89 stomachs were analyzed, and perch height, type of vegetation, and substrate type were registered. The diet of this population consists of 13 items, with ants and coleopterans accounting for 87% of food ingested by the different age and sex classes. Ants represent 58% of the diet, reflecting their greater availability in this microhabitat. Intra- and intersexual differences in diet were not found. Bolitoglossa nicefori exhibited both terrestrial and arboreal behaviors related to temperature and humidity conditions during the daily cycle. Mature nonreproductive females, males, and juveniles were found perching from 0–60 cm above the ground on Araceae bushes that predominate in the study area, whereas reproductive females were always found within the leaf litter. Life-history features of B. nicefori are determined by environmental conditions; however, they follow common trends shared with other species of Bolitoglossa.

Jesús E. Ortega, John Maury Monares-Riaño, and Martha Patricia Ramírez-Pinilla "Reproductive Activity, Diet, and Microhabitat Use in Bolitoglossa nicefori (Caudata: Plethodontidae)," Journal of Herpetology 43(1), 1-10, (1 March 2009).
Accepted: 1 May 2008; Published: 1 March 2009

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