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Mating patterns of Rana kukunoris from three populations along an altitudinal gradient on the Tibetan Plateau

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image of Animal Biology

Large-male mating advantage and size-assortative mating are two different size-dependent mating patterns which deviate from random mating in frogs. These two pairing patterns may arise due to female choice, male-male competition, male choice, or a combination of these. Our study investigated the mating system of Rana kukunoris at three elevations on the Tibetan Plateau, southwestern China, throughout a breeding season. We compared body size between amplectant and non-amplectant males, and among amplectant pairs. For R. kukunoris, the results showed a large-male mating advantage at the two higher elevations and a size-assortative mating at the highest elevation. In addition to sexual selection, we found that the length of the breeding season, population density and operational sex ratio may influence mating patterns.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Biology, College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, SD 464000, China; 2: 2Department of Zoology, College of Life Science, Wuhan University, SD 430072, China


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