Objectives: Outline: Idaho Amphibians and Reptiles. Characteristics of Amphibians. Types and Numbers of Amphibians

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1 Natural History of Idaho Amphibians and Reptiles Wildlife Ecology, University of Idaho Fall 2005 Charles R. Peterson Herpetology Laboratory Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho Museum of Natural History Idaho State University Objectives: Know how to find information on amphibians and reptiles. Have an appreciation for the diversity and importance of amphibians and reptiles. Be able to find and identify Idaho amphibians and reptiles. Know the basic natural history patterns of Idaho amphibians and reptiles. Be aware of conservation problems and solutions. Readings Outline: Idaho Amphibians and Reptiles Pough Chapters 10, 12, & 13 Stuart et al Gibbons et al Introduction Sources of Information Types and Characteristics Importance Natural History Identification (lab) Conservation Sources of Information Books and Leaflets Scientific Journals Web Sites Scientific Societies Conservation Groups Courses Idaho Digital Atlas Website: imnh.edu/digitalatlas/ Types and Numbers of Amphibians Characteristics of Amphibians Taxon World U.S. Idaho Caecilians Salamanders 415 ~200 5 Anurans 3750 ~ Total 4330 ~ % 0.3% Pough et al Thin smooth, moist skin Breathe via gills, skin, and/or lungs Gelatinous eggs Complex Life Cycle Ectothermic

2 Turtles Lizards Snakes Types of Reptiles Crocodilians Tuatara Numbers of Reptile Species Taxon World U.S. Idaho Turtles Crocodilians Tuatara Lizards Snakes Total % 0.4% Source: Behler and King, 1979 Pough et al Characteristics of Reptiles Dry, scaly skin Breathe via lungs Amniotic eggs Direct development Ectothermic Ectothermic Closely coupled to environment low energetic requirements low visibility high conversion efficiency high biomass Importance of Amphibians and Reptiles Biodiversity Functional Roles in Ecosystems Bioindicators Economic Value Model Systems for Research Biomedical Applications Aesthetic Appreciation Natural History Morphological Characteristics Physiological Characteristics Distribution Habitat Activity Patterns Movements Feeding Defense Reproduction and Life History Status and Conservation

3 Morphological Characteristics: Size Idaho amphibians and reptiles are small to intermediate in size. Ectothermy Physiological Characteristics: Thermal Biology Temperature tolerances Thermal Dependency Physiological Characteristics: Freeze Tolerance Physiological Characteristics: Water Relationships General Patterns Species Richness Latitude Elevation Complementarity Distribution: Species Richness of Idaho Amphibians

4 Regional Endemics Introduced Species Coeur d Alene Salamander Idaho Giant Salamander Rocky Mountain Salamander Roughskinned Newt American Bullfrog Complementarity of Mole Salamander Distributions Tailed Frog (Ascaphidae) Great Basin Spadefoot (Pelobatidae) True Toad Distributions Complementarity of Tree Frog Distributions

5 True Frog Distributions Species Richness of Idaho Reptiles Widespread Reptile Distribution Patterns Northern Reptile Distribution Patterns? Western Skink Rubber Boa Racer Gopher Snake Terrestrial Garter Snake Common Garter Snake Western Rattlesnake Northern Alligator Lizard Painted Turtle Introductions in southern Idaho Southern Reptile Distributions Limited Reptile Distribution Patterns. Striped Whipsnake Longnosed Leopard Lizard Tiger Whiptail Common Sagebrush Lizard Ringnecked Snake Night Snake Prairie Rattlesnake Western Fence Lizard Desert Horned Lizard Common Side- blotched Lizard Pigmy Short- horned Lizard Great Basin Collared Lizard Longnose Snake Ground Snake

6 Elevational Distribution Breeding Pond (lentic) Stream (lotic( lotic) Terrestrial Amphibian Habitat Breeding Sites Over-wintering Sites Foraging Sites Foraging Overwintering Lentic Habitat Lotic Habitat Terrestrial Habitat Reptile Habitat Cover types shrublands grasslands forest riparian alpine Habitat elements substrate slope aspect

7 Desertic Shrubland - southwestern Idaho Desertic Shrubland - southwestern Idaho Shrubland - southeastern Idaho Riparian and Wetland Habitat: Habitat: Overwintering Activity Patterns and Movements Daily diurnal nocturnal crepuscular Seasonal overwintering breeding gestation foraging Breeding Sites Over-wintering Sites Foraging Sites Going Down Mark Kelso

8 Spotted Frog Movements in the Bighorn Crags Movements Wide Range territorial species migrations Fishless Lakes Kilometers Visualizing rattlesnake movements and habitat use Natural History North Morphological Characteristics Physiological Characteristics Distribution Habitat Activity Patterns Movements Feeding Defense Reproduction and Life History Status and Conservation 2 km Diet Foraging mode Prey capture Feeding Energetic requirements Salamanders larvae mostly carnivorous some cannibalism adults mostly opportunistic carnivores Feeding: Diet

9 Anurans Feeding: Diet larvae generally herbivorous some scavengers some carnivores some cannibalism adults mostly opportunistic carnivores mostly invertebrates some vertebrates Painted Turtle: omnivorous Lizards: primarily carnivorous Snakes: exclusively carnivorous Feeding: Diets Feeding: Foraging Mode Feeding: Foraging Mode Correlates Sit and wait vs. Active foraging Sagebrush Lizard Tiger Whiptail Pough et al Table 15-4 Western Rattlesnake Striped Whipsnake Feeding - Prey Capture Feeding - Prey Capture Examples Gape and Suck Grazing Tongue projection Examples Grasping Constriction Envenomation

10 Feeding: Energetic Requirements Defense Hiding/crypsis Evasion Rubber Boa (Charina( bottae) Defense: Engagement Defense: Engagement Natural History Morphological Characteristics Physiological Characteristics Distribution Habitat Activity Patterns Movements Feeding Defense Reproduction and Life History Status and Conservation Reproduction and Life History Reproductive Modes Reproductive Schedules Mating Systems Gestation Sex Determination Parental Care Age to sexual maturity Longevity

11 Examples Reproduction and Life History: Longevity Boreal Chorus Frogs years Western Toads > 20 years Side-blotched Lizards years Rubber Boas > 30 years Painted Turtles > 50 years See species checklists Status and Conservation Idaho Department of Fish and Game Conservation Data Center: fishandgame.idaho.gov/tech/cdc/heritage_ranks. /tech/cdc/heritage_ranks.cfmcfm

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