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Mate Choice in the Wood Frog, Rana sylvatica
Keith A. Berven
Vol. 35, No. 4 (Jul., 1981), pp. 707-722
Published by: Society for the Study of Evolution
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408242
Page Count: 16
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The variation in mating success of male wood frogs, Rana sylvatica, was studied in natural populations and laboratory mate-choice experiments using males of varying ages, body sizes and geographic origins. The results of both laboratory and field experiments suggest that male-male competition was responsible for the greater mating success of the larger males. Older males did not have greater mating success when size was controlled. Males showed a strong preference for larger females and ignored very small females. Most matings were not significantly assortative. In those rare cases where assortative mating was observed, it resulted from male competition, male choice, and the relative abundance of each sex as opposed to female choice of a preferred body size. Substantial among-pond and within-year variation in sex ratios and age composition of breeding populations was observed. Such variation may have been important in determining the pattern of mate choice observed and the variation in male reproductive success.
Evolution © 1981 Society for the Study of Evolution