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New parental care behaviours in two telmatobiine genera from temperate Patagonian forests: Batrachyla and Eupsophus (Anura: Leptodactylidae)

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Parental care behaviour is described for the first time for two frog species of Batrachyla and three species of Eupsophus, from the Patagonian forests of Chile and Argentina. Males of Batrachyla species attend to eggs which are hidden under shelters on damp soil. Males of Eupsophus species remain by the clutch, and later on also by the tadpoles, in small aquatic microhabitats in the ground. The fact that some male of Eupsophus were found in advanced stages of weight loss confirms the hypothesis that they remain by the clutch until metamorphosis takes place. The parental care behaviour observed in Eupsophus and Batrachyla complements the reproductive strategy of their species, which have few eggs relatively rich in yolk and conceal the clutch in semi-terrestrial environments, and in Eupsophus, have unpigmented endotrophic tadpoles which remain confined to a dark, aquatic microhabitat until their metamorphosis is complete.


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