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Tadpole transport in relation to rainfall, fecundity and body size in five species of poison-dart frogs from Amazonian Peru

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During a study on annual activity patterns of anurans at a neotropical study site (Aichinger, 1987a) additional observations on tadpole carrying poison-dart frogs were made. Seventy-four individuals representing five species, Colostethus marchesianus, Dendrobates quinquevittatus, Epipedobates femoralis, E. pictus, and E. trivittatus (generic names follow Myers, 1987), were observed during larval transport. Eighty-nine percent transported their larvae immediately after rain showers. In 1981 and 1985 seventy-eight percent of the observations were made on two days at the beginning of the rainy season. There was no relation between snout-vent length (SVL) of adults and number of tadpoles carried. In Colostethus marchesianus and Epipedobates pictus the number of ovarian eggs increased significantly with increasing SVL. The number of ovarian eggs is compared with the number of tadpoles carried. In Epipedobates spp. the remarkably lower number of tadpoles carried (X = 25.9 % ) may be due to the mortality rate of the larvae. The number of transported tadpoles in C. marchesianus exceeded the number of ovarian eggs by up to 89 % . It is supposed that C. marchesianus may carry the hatched tadpoles of two clutches.

Affiliations: 1: Zoologisches Institut der Universität Wien, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Wien


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