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Sexual Selection in the Great Plains Toad (Bufo Cognatus)

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Breeding aggregations of Bufo cognatus were observed in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico during June, July and August, 1980-82. Most breeding aggregations lasted only two or three nights following summer rainstorms. Males substantially outnumbered females at choruses, and females actively selected mates from among displaying males. Some small males adopted satellite positions near calling males, and the percentage of time a male was observed calling was significantly correlated with snout-vent length. Male mating success was positively correlated with the percentage of time a male was observed calling, but male size and mating success were not correlated. There was no indication of positive assortative mating with respect to body size. It is concluded that Bufo cognatus has a lek mating system.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Az.85287 U.S.A.

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