We measured body size and reproductive traits of blue-tailed skinks ( Eumeces elegans
) from two localities at different latitudes in Eastern China to reveal their inter-population differences in reproductive life-history strategies sp. Females from Ningde, the locality at a lower latitude, produced their eggs from 27th May to 22nd June; whereas females from Hangzhou, the locality at a higher latitude, produced eggs from 4th June to 12th July. Snout-vent lengths of the minimum reproductive female and adult skinks in Ningde population were smaller than that in Hangzhou population. Females from the two populations did not show significant difference in relative clutch mass. After the effect of maternal snout-vent length was statistically removed, clutch size and clutch mass did not differ between the two populations, but mean egg mass still showed considerable inter-population difference, with larger eggs in Hangzhou skinks. This study revealed negative correlation between clutch size and egg mass, and inter-population difference in trade-offs between clutch size and egg size. For a given clutch size, females from Hangzhou laid larger eggs than did those from Ningde. Therefore, in E. elegans
, reproductive life histories differ significantly between the two populations, and maternal body size accounts for a large quantity of such inter-population differences. These results suggest that the reproductive strategies for this species change from a high-latitudinal population to a low-latitudinal population.