Vol. 49 No. 3, 2010
Paternal Care and Egg Survivorship in a Low Nest-Attendance Rhacophorid Frog
Wei-Chun Cheng and Yeong-Choy Kam*
Department of Life Science, Tunghai University, Taichung 407, Taiwan
Wei-Chun Cheng and Yeong-Choy Kam (2010) We conducted a field study in Mar.-June 2007 to evaluate the importance of egg attendance by male Kurixalus eiffingeri
to egg survivorship. We found 38 egg clutches and visited them on
a fixed scheme by checking all nests at night for 6 d, yielding 1368
visits of 10 min each. Egg attendance frequency was highly uneven
among nests and was positively correlated with clutch size. On
average, 6.8% ± 4.4% of eggs in an egg clutch died each day.
Daily egg mortality was inversely correlated with the attendance
frequency, suggesting that paternal care is important to egg survival
even though this is a low nest-attendance species. Variances of
egg mortality were low when paternal care effort was high, but opposite
results were found when paternal care effort was low, suggesting the
fate of eggs can also be affected by factors other than paternal care,
such as stump conditions. Our results suggest that parental care
effort varies via a cost-benefit relationship of investment in the
present offspring vs. future reproductive chances. Male frogs
spent more time attending eggs when the clutch sizes were large but
sought additional mating opportunities if the egg clutches were small,
which resulted in large variations in egg mortality among clutches.
Key words: Anuran, Nest attendance, Egg brooding, Paternal care, Rhacophoridae.
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