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Breeding in bamboo: a novel anuran reproductive strategy discovered in Rhacophorid frogs of the Western Ghats, India

Articles

Journal/Conference:

BIOLOGICAL JOURNAL OF THE LINNEAN SOCIETY

Language:

English

Author:

Seshadri Kadaba Shamanna; Gururaja Kotambylu Vasudeva; Bickford David Patrick

Year:

2015

Volume:

114

Issue:

1

Pages:

1-11

Keywords:

amphibian ecology; direct development; evolutionary ecology; natural history; parental care; reproductive strategies

Amphibians exhibit extraordinarily diverse sets of reproductive strategies among vertebrates. Understanding life history strategies in an evolutionary framework is lacking for many amphibian species in the tropics. Here, we report a novel reproductive mode where adult frogs enter hollow internodes of bamboo via a small opening, deposit direct developing eggs, and provide parental care. This behaviour is observed in two species of the frog genus Raorchestes. The first description of this unique life history and details of nest site characteristics and embryo development are provided along with ecological comparisons. Evolution of novel reproductive modes and parental care are discussed in context of natural selection. Dearth of natural history information on amphibians in the Western Ghats and much of the South-East Asian region is highlighted with suggestions for further studies.(c) 2014 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2014, 114, 1-11.