Zoological Studies

Vol. 47 No. 5, 2008

Egg Size Variation in Crested Newts from the Western Balkans (Caudata: Salamandridae: Triturus cristatus Superspecies)

Milena Furtula1,*, Ana Ivanović2, Georg Džukić1, and Miloš L. Kalezić1,2

1Institute for Biological Research, Siniša Stanković, Department for Evolutionary Biology, Bulevar despota Stefana 142, Belgrade 11060, Serbia
2Institute for Zoology, Faculty of Biology, Studentski trg 16, Belgrade 11000, Serbia

Milena Furtula, Ana Ivanović, Georg Džukić, and Miloš L. Kalezić (2008) We report herein on egg size characteristics (vitellus volume and jelly/vitellus ratio) of 4 crested newt species (Triturus cristatus superspecies).  The key results were as follows: (1) maternal and population effects on these characteristics were detected, however, the species effect was much more pronounced; (2) in terms of the vitellus volume, T. karelinii and T. macedonicus had the largest eggs, T. dobrogicus had the smallest, and T. cristatus had eggs of intermediate size; (3) all species significantly differed in their jelly/vitellus ratio values, with the lowest ratio in T. macedonicus followed by T. karelinii, T. cristatus, and T. dobrogicus with the highest ratio value; and (4) the species shared a common allometric slope of the egg volume/body size relationship.  The egg size traits appeared to follow a evolutionary trend similar to that of the morphological and ecological diversity characteristics.

Key words: Interspecific diversity patterns, Life history, Allometry.

*Correspondence: Tel: 381-11-2078378.  Fax: 381-11-2761433.   E-mail:milena.furtula@ibiss.bg.ac.yu