The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 02. The paradoxical frog Pseudis paradoxa: larval habitat, growth and metamorphosis

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Open Access

Authors: Downie, J.R.; Ramnarine, I.; Sams, K. & Walsh, P.T.

Abstract: The genus Pseudis is unique amongst anuran amphibians in that body growth occurs mostly or entirely in the larval phase, with huge tadpoles metamorphosing into adult-sized frogs. Tadpole growth rate, metamorphic duration and tadpole habitat were studied in the paradoxical frog Pseudis paradoxa in Trinidad, West Indies, in order to assess the factors which may have led to the evolution of this unique life history. Growth rate was shown to be similar to other tropical tadpoles: Pseudis simply continued to grow, rather than progress to metamorphosis. Metamorphic duration fitted well with a model based on tadpole size. Sexual dimorphism in tadpole size was apparent, with females larger than males at metamorphosis. Pseudis tadpoles initially possess highly cryptic patterning, which is lost as they grow larger. The costs and benefits of continued growth in the larval phase in a permanent tropical swamp habitat are discussed in terms of potential predators and food availability to both Pseudis larvae and adults.

Keywords: AMPHIBIAN TADPOLES, ANURANS, MATURATION, TRINIDAD

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