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Observations on mating, oviposition, egg sac formation and development in the egg-brooding frog, Fritziana goeldii

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The oviposition behaviour of the egg brooding hylid frog, Fritziana goeldii, is essentially similar to that seen in the genera Gastrotheca and Flectonotus. At the beginning of oviposition, the female extrudes a mucous secretion which is beaten into a foam surrounding all eggs. This later hardens and forms an egg sac which is firmly glued onto the female's back. If it is removed, the lateral partitions which form between embryos disappear immediately. Intracapsular development on the female's back takes 17 days, larval development takes 21 to 24 days. The larvae hatch at stages 30 to 33 and feed on dead conspecific larvae and undeveloped eggs. The observations are discussed with regard to the hypothesis that direct development is the plesiomorphic reproductive mode in hemiphractine frogs and that development through free living larvae is derived. It is our opinion that, as far as Fritziana and Flectonotus are concerend, the evidence in favour of the above hypothesis is not sufficient.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Biologie I (Zoologie) der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Albertstrasse 21a, 7800 Freiburg i. Br., Germany; 2: Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, R. J. Brazil


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