Phylogenetically related species with similar ecologies often partition resources when in sympatry. Food is an important factor in the co-occurrence of sympatric salamanders, and food partitioning occurs in a variety of sympatric, similar species. Several members of the Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata) species complex are largely parapatric but co-exist within a narrow zone of sympatric contact. Because larvae of these salamanders frequently occur in very high densities, we tested the hypothesis that larvae of the Blue Ridge Salamander (E. wilderae) and the Southern Two-lined Salamander (E. cirrigera) partition food in sympatry in northeastern Georgia. We predicted that the diets of these two species would differ in sympatry and that the respective diet of each species would differ between allopatric and sympatric populations. Both species fed largely on the aquatic larvae of Trichoptera and Diptera, and their diets reflected the available insect fauna of the respective streams. There was no significant difference between the species in sympatry or between allopatric and sympatric populations of either species. Although we found no evidence of food partitioning, we cannot rule out interspecific competition that may manifest itself in some resource other than food.
We thank V. Terrell for help in collecting the specimens from CC; H. Masengale and A. Matheney aided in running PCR for genetic analysis.
Camp, Carlos D.; Owensby, S. Michael; Benfield, Emily; and Wooten, Jessica A.
"A TEST OF FOOD PARTITIONING BETWEEN THE AQUATIC LARVAE OF TWO PARAPATRIC SPECIES OF TWO-LINED SALAMANDER (EURYCEA BISLINEATA SPECIES COMPLEX) IN A ZONE OF SYMPATRIC CONTACT,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 80, No. 2, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol80/iss2/6