Multiple paternity in Rana dalmatina, a monogamous territorial breeding anuran
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- Lodé, T. & Lesbarrères, D. Naturwissenschaften (2004) 91: 44. doi:10.1007/s00114-003-0491-7
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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.