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Nidicolous development in Limnonectes limborgi (Anura, Dicroglossidae)

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The Southeast Asian frog Limnonectes limborgi and the closely related L. hascheanus have been considered direct developers for almost 50 years. We report that rather than having direct development, L. limborgi has nidicolous development (= eggs oviposited terrestrially and larvae are free-living but nonfeeding) from large, nonpigmented eggs laid in a terrestrial nest constructed by the male. Thirteen nests were observed at four sites in Cambodia and Vietnam, five of which contained clutches of up to 15 eggs or tadpoles. Calling males were in attendance regardless of the presence of or developmental stage of their progeny. Large yolk reserves present as late as stage 37 and the lack of organic material in the gut indicate that these tadpoles do not feed. It is likely that L. hascheanus also has nidicolous development.

Affiliations: 1: 1Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia; 2: 2Department of Biological Sciences, Mississippi State University, MS 39762, USA

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