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Description of the tadpoles of Boophis doulioti and B. xerophilus from Western Madagascar with notes on larval life history and breeding ecology

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The genus Boophis is very diverse in species number and ecology within the endemic Malagasy family Mantellidae. Two species, Boophis doulioti and B. xerophilus, stand out as they are breeding in stagnant waters in the dry west and south of Madagascar, while the large majority are specialized to breeding in brooks of the rainforests in the east. In this paper the morphology, larval life history, ecology of the sympatric tadpoles and some aspects of the breeding ecology of B. doulioti and B. xerophilus are described. Tadpoles of the two species differ in many morphological characters and proportions, with differing positions of the eyes and body coloration being the most prominent. There is a considerable temporal and spatial overlap in the choice of breeding ponds by both species in the study area. However, B. xerophilus tadpoles are restricted to larger and more permanent breeding ponds while the generalistic B. doulioti uses also smaller and more ephemeral water bodies. Variability in larval life history traits of B. doulioti individuals growing up in ephemeral ponds compared to those from more permanent ponds indicates considerable developmental plasticity in tadpole life history of this species.

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853805774806287
2005-12-01
2016-12-06

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