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Identity and courtship traits of Aichi and Gifu populations of Cynops pyrrhogaster complex

This is a discussion on Identity and courtship traits of Aichi and Gifu populations of Cynops pyrrhogaster complex within the Taxonomy, Phylogenetics & Evolution forums, part of the Herpetological Science & Politics category; Cynops pyrrhogaster has been known for decades to be a species complex. Despite extensive study of numerous specimens, conflicts between ...

Taxonomy, Phylogenetics & Evolution For the discussion of species naming, origins and the related sciences.

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Old 25th February 2015   #1 (permalink)
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Default Identity and courtship traits of Aichi and Gifu populations of Cynops pyrrhogaster complex

Cynops pyrrhogaster has been known for decades to be a species complex. Despite extensive study of numerous specimens, conflicts between boudaries identified by morphology, behavior, and genetics have slowed the progress of dissecting these species. Among the difficulties, Atsumi [now thought extinct] and Sasayama 'races' have courtship behavior which differs from all other races; the Intermediate 'race' shows intermediate morphology between Sasayama and Kanto/Tohoku 'races', but otherwise seems closer to the latter. Recent genetic studies contrast by merging Intermediate with Sasayama rather than the northern species. A new study focuses on two Intermediate populations, and this time again groups them with Sasayama and Atsumi by their shared courtship.

Masataka Tagami, Chikako Horie, Toshimasa Kawai, Ai Sakabe and Tomohiko Shimada, 2015. The Mating Behavior of Cynops pyrrhogaster from Gifu and Aichi Prefectures, Central Japan, in Captivity. Current Herpetology Volume 34 Issue 1: 1218.

At least six local races of the Japanese fire-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, have been reported (Atsumi, Hiroshima, Kanto, Sasayama, Tohoku, and Intermediate) on the bases of morphological and ethological traits. We observed mating behaviors of male newts collected from Gifu and Aichi Prefectures, Central Japan, in the range of the Intermediate race. Under captive conditions, almost all males put their hindlimbs on the scapular regions of their mates during courting by waving their tail. This behavior has been thought to be restricted to the Sasayama race from Kinki and Eastern Chugoku regions and the Atsumi race, presumably endemic to the Atsumi Peninsula of the Chubu region, but is now believed to be extinct. Our observations suggest that the Intermediate race occurring between the Sasayama and the Atsumi races also shares the same mating behavior characteristics. This observation concurs with the reported results of genetic analyses, which indicated the presence of little genetic isolation between the Sasayama and the Intermediate races.



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