Lines of arrested growth (LAGs) were assessed in Thai population of the protected and rare Himalayan crocodile newt, Tylototriton verrucosus (Anderson, 1871) from Northern Thailand using skeletochronology. LAGs were clearly discernable in phalangeal bone cross-sections and could be interpreted as age. The number of LAGs in the sampled breeding population was found to be 4-8 in males (n=12) and 4 and 6 in females (n=2), consistent with previous observations that sexual maturity is reached at four years of age in both sexes. Although limited in sample size, the data suggest that males with ages over eight years are rare or absent in the breeding population studied. This non-lethal technique thus appears of potential use in ecological studies requiring non-lethal sampling of tropical urodela, including rare and or protected species.
KEY WORDS: Skeletochronology, LAGs, Tropical newt, Tylototriton verrucosus, Thailand
Wichase Khonsue, Thosapol Chaiananporn and Porrawee Pomchote. 2010. Skeletochronological Assessment of Age in the Himalayan Crocodile Newt, Tylototriton verrucosus (Anderson, 1871) from Thailand. Tropical Natural History. 10(2): 181-188.