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1 June 2011 Reproductive Ecology of the Common South American Toad Rhinella arenarum (Anura: Bufonidae): Reproductive Effort, Clutch Size, Fecundity, and Mate Selection
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Abstract
Understanding the causes of population declines is difficult when the ecology of the organisms themselves is insufficiently known. The common South American toad, Rhinella arenarum, inhabits a wide variety of habitats. Their populations are abundant; however, life-history characteristics of the adult, including reproductive traits, are poorly known. We studied the reproductive ecology of R. arenarum for several populations in central Argentina during two breeding seasons (2007–08). Breeding activity was compared for the two seasons with respect to variation in habitat variables. Females deposited a mean of 23,226.67 eggs per clutch (N  =  10), and snout–vent length did not show any significant effect on the number of eggs. Spawning females lost 27% of their mass when spawning occurred, and the heavier females had greater reproductive output. We found a significantly positive relationship between amplexed male and female snout–vent lengths, indicating size-assortative mating. Females in good body and somatic condition produced larger clutches independent of snout–vent length. Because clutch hydration in ponds occurs, reproductive effort as a function of body loss mass of spawning females is a more appropriate estimate of reproductive output for R. arenarum. Trends in the number of egg strings over several breeding periods can provide information about changes in population size. Long-term studies designed to monitor populations are needed to determine the impacts and consequences of environmental changes.
Clarisade L. Bionda, Rafael C. Lajmanovich, Nancy E. Salas, Adolfo L. Martino and Ismael E. di Tada "Reproductive Ecology of the Common South American Toad Rhinella arenarum (Anura: Bufonidae): Reproductive Effort, Clutch Size, Fecundity, and Mate Selection," Journal of Herpetology 45(2), (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.1670/09-238.1
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