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Explosive Breeding Aggregations and Parachuting in a Neotropical Frog, Agalychnis saltator (Hylidae)

Wendy E. Roberts
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 28, No. 2 (Jun., 1994), pp. 193-199
DOI: 10.2307/1564620
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1564620
Page Count: 7
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Explosive Breeding Aggregations and Parachuting in a Neotropical Frog, Agalychnis saltator (Hylidae)
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Abstract

Agalychnis saltator gathers in spectacular breeding aggregations on lianas above temporary swamps. Both males and females descend to breeding aggregations by parachuting and return rapidly to the canopy by hand-over-hand locomotion up lianas. Amplecting males are no different in size from single males, and the sizes of males and females in amplexus are not correlated. Unusual characteristics of this species compared to congeners include egg-laying during daylight hours and laying grey eggs that are packed into moss on lianas. Sources of egg mortality include desiccation, submergence in water, and predation by ants, snakes, and birds. Parachuting and walking may both be efficient locomotor modes that enable frogs to live in the dispersed habitat of the canopy and yet gather in a short amount of time for explosive breeding at isolated ponds.

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