We examined the terrestrial-nonbreeding ecology of a migratory salamander Salamandrella keyserlingii (Hynobiidae) inhabiting wetlands, using a large grid of 160 pitfall traps without drift fences near a breeding fen, during the April–May breeding and June–October nonbreeding seasons (1995–1997). Activity of salamanders near the fen was heaviest during September over three consecutive years, providing evidence for fall immigrations toward terrestrial hibernacula, unrelated to mating. The number of September immigrants was positively correlated with precipitation on the preceding day. More than 90% of all breeding immigrations (172/189, 1996–1997) occurred with air temperature at 0000 h ≥ 2 C. The number of breeding immigrants was positively correlated with air temperature at 0000 h or 0400 h on the same day and precipitation on the preceding day. Males began their breeding immigration earlier than females in 1997, but simultaneous movements of male and female immigrants occurred in 1996. Larger males emerged earlier from hibernation in 1996, but emergence was size-independent in 1997. Breeding immigrants chose a directional heading toward the fen. Within each sex or age class, there was no difference in body size between individuals associated with two riparian vegetation regions, forest and marsh. Whereas males and juveniles preferred a wet marsh area compared to a dry forest habitat, females did not exhibit a habitat preference except that females emigrated farther from the fen than males. Sex ratios during the terrestrial phase varied with a female-biased ratio of 1.28 through a male-biased ratio of 4.61.
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Vol. 63 • No. 2