Nancy L. Staub, Charles W. Brown and David B. Wake, 1995,
Patterns of Growth and Movements in a Population of,
Ensatina eschscholtzii
platensis (Caudata: Plethodontidae) in the Sierra Nevada, California

Journal of Herpetology: Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 593–599.

ABSTRACT

Movements and growth in a population of the terrestrial plethodontid salamander Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis were investigated using mark-recapture methods over a period of 1946 days at a mid-elevation site in the central Sierra Nevada of California. The study site included two plots of equal size, totalling 3.0 hectares, in an old growth pine-fir-incense cedar forest.Our sample included 925 captures, and 14% of the animals were recaptured at least once. Males were more active than females; recapture rates were significantly higher for males than for females, dispite a 1:1 sex ratio. Variance in distance traveled was significantly greater for males than for females, and most long range movements were by males, but mean distance traveled did not differ between the sexes. The maximum distance moved for males and females was 120.4 m and 60.6 m, respectively. These movement differences between sexes may explain differences in patterns of mtDNA and allozyme variation within the Ensatina species complex. We suggest that terrestrial plethodontids routinely travel > 10 m and caution against calculating home-range sizes from studies conducted on plots of small size.

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