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Growth of oophagous tadpoles (Chirixalus eiffingeri: Rhacophoridae) after nest displacement: implications for maternal care and nest homing

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1. The maternal care and nest homing of female Taiwanese tree frogs (Chirixalus eiffingeri) seeking to feed their tadpoles were studied through a series of manipulative experiments at the Experimental Forest of National Taiwan University at Chitou from 2001 to 2003.2. Replacing a female's tadpoles with non-kin tadpoles, and replacing her bamboo stump with one of similar external morphology or of a different height did not affect the homing of female frogs. Displacing bamboo stumps by 1 m did not significantly affect female homing, but displacing bamboo stumps by 3 m did, suggesting bamboo stump location is critical to homing by female frogs.3. When tadpoles were placed in a stump adjacent to a tadpole-occupied stump, the former tadpoles were not fed but the latter were fed.4. Overall, results indicate that the location of stumps is the most critical cues to the nest homing of C. eiffingeri females. We propose that female rely on the spatial distribution of the nest stump relative to other bamboo stumps for nest homing to feed their offspring.

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