We examined chemical communication and behavioral interactions between juvenile Ambystoma opacum and Ambystoma talpoideum (Caudata: Ambystomatidae) in two laboratory experiments. In experiment 1, we investigated olfactory communication in both species by exposing salamanders to (1) nonmarked substrates (control), (2) self-marked substrates, (3) conspecific-marked substrates, and (4) heterospecific-marked substrates. Juvenile A. opacum spent significantly more time on the self-marked soil substrate when compared to the control and also spent significantly more time at the edge of the experimental chamber in the conspecific treatment when compared to the control. In experiment 2, we examined behavioral interactions between paired resident salamanders when a limited resource (i.e., one cover object) was present. Encounters were between (1) a resident salamander and a surrogate (control), (2) conspecific residents, and (3) heterospecific residents. Neither juvenile A. opacum nor A. talpoideum significantly altered their behaviors in response to different types of cohabitors. Although A. opacum were observed biting other salamanders on rare occasions, neither juvenile A. opacum nor A. talpoideum significantly altered their behaviors in response to different types of opponents. These results indicate that chemical communication and behavioral interactions may not be important for spacing behavior of recently metamorphosed A. opacum and A. talpoideum.

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