Short Communication


, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 44-47

First online:

Multiple paternity in Rana dalmatina, a monogamous territorial breeding anuran

  • Thierry LodéAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Ecologie Animale, Université d’Angers Email author 
  • , David LesbarrèresAffiliated withLaboratoire d’Ecologie Animale, Université d’Angers

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Polyandry and sperm competition in anurans have rarely been documented. We investigated the genetic paternity inferred from allozyme variations in 650 tadpoles from four natural ponds in a territorial breeding anuran, Rana dalmatina. Multiple paternity was demonstrated, although R. dalmatina is regarded as a monogamous species. Polyandrous mating was not a common event, occurring only in 17.9% of clutches, with no significant differences among clutches. The proportions of tadpoles fathered by a second male did not significantly differ among ponds, showing that multipaternity was not restricted to a single site. Such a polyandry may result from synchronous multiple amplexus and should reduce the heterozygote deficit related to the breeding-pond fidelity usually exhibited by most anurans.