Multiple paternity in Rana dalmatina, a monogamous territorial breeding anuran
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.
We thank Hélène Birard, Hélène Blanchard, Romain Criou, Dominique Le Jacques, Stéphanie Mareau, Marc Pondaven, Julie-Anne Rio, Yann Rigault and Sébastien Sellos for their field assistance and Kathryn D. Kavanagh for helpful comments.
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