Reproductive ecology of Sichuan digging frogs (Microhylidae: Kaloula rugifera)

Chen, Wei, Ren, Lina, He, Dujuan, and Pike, David (2015) Reproductive ecology of Sichuan digging frogs (Microhylidae: Kaloula rugifera). Acta Herpetologica, 10 (1). pp. 17-21.

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We investigated the reproductive ecology of Sichuan digging frogs (Microhylidae: Kaloula rugifera) in Mianyang, China during the wet season of 2013. Male Sichuan digging frogs first appear at temporary ponds following the first heavy rain of the wet season and initiate calling. Females arrive at ponds shortly after males. Male frogs chorus extensively throughout the wet season during the evenings and nights following rainstorms. Female frogs leave the pond after laying eggs, and likely only lay one clutch annually. Amplexus lasted up to three hours. Females were larger than males in terms of body size, but we found no evidence of size-assortative mating. Clutch size varied from 920 to 2200 eggs, with egg diameter ranging from 1.33 to 1.93 mm. Larger female frogs laid more eggs, and there was no correlation between egg number and egg size. Tadpoles hatched from eggs within 18-20 hours of oviposition, and grew for 30-40 days before complete metamorphosis occurred. The initial body length of tadpoles ranged from 3-5 mm snout-vent length. Growth was fastest immediately after hatching, and declined asymptotically with increasing tadpole body size. Overall, Sichuan digging frogs have a breeding biology characterized by strong male-male competition with prolonged breeding coinciding with the annual wet season.

Item ID: 39713
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1827-9643
Keywords: breeding ecology, Kaloula rugifera, life history, mating system
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Funders: Mianyang Normal University (MNU), Foundation of Sichuan Provincial Department of Education (FSPDE)
Projects and Grants: MNU No. QD2012A13, FSPDE No. 11ZB138, FSPDE No. 15ZA0298
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 03:01
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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