German Journal of Herpetology

Faraulo, M. S., J. F. Dias & J. Zina

In Issues 2019

Reproductive behavior of Pithecopus nordestinus (Anura: Phyllomedusidae): a tree frog inhabiting the Brazilian semiarid. pp. 242-252.

Abstract. Pithecopus nordestinus is a small species of Phyllomedusidae that occurs in semi-arid zones, being the only one of the genus that occurs in Caatinga areas. In order to understand the ecological and behavioral traits responsible for the existence of the species in xeric environments we study a population of P. nordetinus of a Caatinga area in southwest Bahia, Brazil. Males of P. nordestinus used preferably the vegetation (mainly Euphorbiaceae and Poaceae) inside semi-permanent and temporary water bodies as calling sites. The dependence of aquatic environments, the arboreal habit, and reproductive mode may lead to these preferences, being that choice related to the species fitness in the semiarid region. The species has elaborated courtship, including the use of visual signals, with females that inspect the oviposition site and split their clutch (spatial partition), probably spawning in more than one occasion during the reproductive season (temporal partition). This set of behaviors points to a sophisticated control mechanism during egg laying and sperm release, as well as the existence of a repertoire of complex reproductive behavioral displays related to the occupation of environments with characteristics as peculiar as those of the Brazilian Northeastern semi-arid.

Key words. Amphibia, Caatinga, courtship, visual signal.

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