German Journal of Herpetology

Glos, J., A. Metzner, C. Schmidtke & M.-O. Rödel

In Issues 2019

The mating system of the reed frog Heterixalus tricolor (Anura: Hyperoliidae) from western Madagascar’s dry forests. pp. 151-159.

Abstract. The mating system is an essential part of a species’ biology. The reed frog Heterixalus tricolor is a prolonged breeder, endemic to the seasonal dry forests of western and northern Madagascar. We examined the mating system of a population from Kirindy Forest by field observations and experimentally. The mating system fulfils many criteria of a lek-system. Heterixalus tricolor had a highly male-biased operational sex ratio (0.34 ± 0.17); males were attending the breeding site over a prolonged period of time, while females visited the pond only one or a few days per season; and the distribution of frogs across different microhabitats within the breeding site was unequal, with higher frog densities in the vegetated pond centre as compared to the pond edge. There was no size-assortative mating of males and females, neither in the field nor in experiments. Field and experimental data revealed that males that mated successfully were not larger than non-amplectant males. Whether this mating pattern is more driven by female choice or male-male competition remains unclear.

Key words. Amphibia, breeding ecology, Kirindy forest, lek-system, mating system, reproduction, size assortative mating.

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