Presentation Title

Intraspecific Cannibalism of Larvae Among Calfornia Newts

Faculty Mentor

Lee B. Kats Ph.D

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 3:15 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 49

Session

Poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Abstract

The California Newt, Taricha torosa, is a Species of Special Concern native to the Santa Monica Mountains. Many aspects of newt ecology have been studied, particularly those aspects that impact population size e.g., increased predation from invasive species, loss of food sources, or drought. Cannibalism has been previously reported for newts but has not been studied in detail. In this study, we examine cannibalism of newt larvae by wild caught adult and juvenile newts. We caught 37 newts over a six day period in June of 2017 from one single stretch of Trancas Creek (Los Angeles County), the newts’ stomachs were flushed, and the percentage of intraspecific larvae in the total stomach contents was then compared by sex and age. We found that adult newts had a significantly higher percentage of T. torosa larvae in their stomachs than did wild caught juvenile newts, and cannibalistic females also had a higher percentage of T. torosa larvae in their stomachs than did cannibalistic males. In most populations adult and juvenile newts leave streams immediately after breeding and would not be in streams beyond April or May. Conditions that promoted current behavior, including high rates of cannibalism need to be studied in more detail.

Summary of research results to be presented

The results of this experiment showed that adult newts had eaten a significantly higher percentage of T. torosa larvae than juvenile newts. We also found that cannibalistic females had a higher percentage of newt larvae in their stomach contents than cannibalistic males.

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Nov 18th, 2:15 PM Nov 18th, 3:15 PM

Intraspecific Cannibalism of Larvae Among Calfornia Newts

BSC-Ursa Minor 49

Abstract

The California Newt, Taricha torosa, is a Species of Special Concern native to the Santa Monica Mountains. Many aspects of newt ecology have been studied, particularly those aspects that impact population size e.g., increased predation from invasive species, loss of food sources, or drought. Cannibalism has been previously reported for newts but has not been studied in detail. In this study, we examine cannibalism of newt larvae by wild caught adult and juvenile newts. We caught 37 newts over a six day period in June of 2017 from one single stretch of Trancas Creek (Los Angeles County), the newts’ stomachs were flushed, and the percentage of intraspecific larvae in the total stomach contents was then compared by sex and age. We found that adult newts had a significantly higher percentage of T. torosa larvae in their stomachs than did wild caught juvenile newts, and cannibalistic females also had a higher percentage of T. torosa larvae in their stomachs than did cannibalistic males. In most populations adult and juvenile newts leave streams immediately after breeding and would not be in streams beyond April or May. Conditions that promoted current behavior, including high rates of cannibalism need to be studied in more detail.