Panov E.N., Grabovsky V.I., Lubuschenko S.V.
Geographical variation in eastern pied wheatears is usually characterized by changes of the ratio of three males colour morphs (picata, opistholeuca and capistrata) and of three main types of females colour patterns corresponding to these morphs. In the framework of such an interpretation, the bearers of different colour types have not their own taxonomic status. In contrast with this point of view, the hypothesis is put forward that eastern pied wheatear was formed as a polytypic species consisting of three well differentiated geographical races corresponding to three colour patterns mentioned above. At allopatric stage of their existence, these races had diverged not only in colour characters, but also in size, behaviour, and habitat preferences. Subsequent expansion of their breeding ranges has resulted in hybridization in the secondary contact zones. Under the resultant mixing of gene pools, two races (picata and opistholeuca) still preserve their morpho—biological constitutions. The third race (capistrata) has formed hybrid polymorphic populations in its ancient breeding range with the ration of parental phenotypes capistrata and opistholeuca at present 68... 84 : 9... 19 and frequency of intermediate phenotype evreinowi from 9% to 13%. Influence of gene flow from the breeding range of these polymorphic populations on phenotype composition of populations inhabiting the ancient breeding range of the form picata is also discussed.
Savelev S.V., Kuranova V.N., Besova N.V.
Sexual behaviour and histological structure of reproductive organs in males and females of Salamandrella keyserlingii were investigated during three seasons. It was found that internal fertilization takes place in Salamandrella keyserlingii and the sexual cycle is 3 years long. (During the first year, the spermatocytes are accumulated in the male and meiosis takes place. In the spring of the second year, spermatogenesis begins. It ends with the maturation of spermatozoons in July. In the middle of summer, females capture spermatozoons which penetrate through oviducts to the body cavity where they are preserved during winter. In the third year spring, females lay eggs fertilized by spermatozoons which spent the winter in their body cavity. It was shown that during the spring games, the males imitate fertilization of the eggs though there are no mature spermatozoons in male body.