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5 April 2019 Reproductive Cycle, Size and Age at Sexual Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism in the Stream-Breeding Frog Crossodactylus schmidti (Hylodidae)
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Abstract

A reproductive strategy includes physiological, morphological, behavioral traits dependent on exogenous and endogenous regulators, including size/age at maturity, temporal variation in gametogenic cycles, and size-fecundity relationships. Sexual differences in reproductive investment, territoriality and resource use may result in sexual dimorphism on body size and other morphological traits. These life-history components are key for understanding the selective forces underlying male and female reproductive strategies in a population. We investigated the reproductive biology of the stream-breeding frog Crossodactylus schmidti through the histological analysis of testes, ovaries, and bone samples. Mature males and females and free-swimming tadpoles occurred in all months, though the monthly proportion of mature females was variable. Free spermatozoa, sperm bundles, and germ cell cysts in several stages occurred in testes of all except two males, whilst ovaries of most females presented all follicle stages, indicating continuous gametogenesis in both sexes. There was no significant seasonal variation in snout–vent length (SVL), body mass (BM) or in the gonadosomatic index for neither sex, further indicating a continuous pattern of reproduction. Minimum SVL and age at sexual maturity was 22.14 mm and 2 a, respectively, in males, and 21.78 mm and 3 a, respectively, in females; both sexes reached up to six years of longevity. Gonad mass increased with BM in both sexes, though this effect was much stronger in females. After controlling for age, females were significantly larger than males in SVL, BM, and MW (mouth width): the larger female body size suggests selection for increased fecundity, whereas the larger MW possibly favors the consumption of large, energetically important prey for sustaining the continuous egg production. Finally, there was a positive correlation between female SVL and number of thumb spines, but the number of thumb spines did not differ between the sexes; we briefly discuss a possible role of thumb spines in the courtship of C. schmidti based on field observations.

© 2019 Brazilian Society of Herpetology
Vinícius Matheus Caldart, Luiza Loebens, Amanda Jamile Carvalho Brum, Lívia Bataioli, and Sonia Zanini Cechin "Reproductive Cycle, Size and Age at Sexual Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism in the Stream-Breeding Frog Crossodactylus schmidti (Hylodidae)," South American Journal of Herpetology 14(1), 1-11, (5 April 2019). https://doi.org/10.2994/SAJH-D-17-00060.1
Received: 21 July 2017; Accepted: 17 October 2018; Published: 5 April 2019
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