Background. The marsh frog, Pelophylax ridibundus (Pallas, 1771), is one of the most widely distributed, abundant and polymorphic species of amphibians in Azerbaijan. Yet, till now there is no any comparative study of morphological characters and on polymorphism of back and abdominal pattern of this species between different populations. The goal of the present investigation was to study interpopulation variability in marsh frog occurring in different habitats of Azerbaijan.
Materials and methods. The material presented in the paper was collected during the period of 2006–2016 on the territory of Lenkoran nature area and Caucasus Major. Both morphometric features (94 individuals) and back and abdominal pattern data (84 individuals) on P. ridibundus are provided in the paper. The measurements of morphological characters were made according to standard methodics with using calliper to the nearest 0,1 mm. The confidence of prameters was evaluated with t-test. For statistical treatment of the data STATISTICA StatSoft 10 software was used.
Results. The comparison of morphological characters in specimens of P. ridibundus fromnorth-western and south-eastern regions of Azerbaijan revealed differences by several features and indecies – L, F, T, C, T/C.int., Dp/C.int. Three main types of dorsal pattern were found in 94 individuals of marsh frog – Maculata (M), Punctata (P), Burnsi (B), as well as 2 intermediate forms – MP and MS. Four kinds of body pattern were registered among collected material – Nigricollis (Nc), Albicollis (Ac), Nigriventris (Nv) и Albiventris (Av).
Conclusions. The obtained results can be explained by several reasons: 1) the differences found between specimens from two populations compared by morphological and phenetic characters could be influenced by genetical, ecological and geographical factors; 2) Perhaps, there occur two morphs of marsh frog in the territory of Azerbaijan, yet, addional data are needed to confirm this last suggestion.
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