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Effect of Female Reproduction and Mate Choice on Sexual Size Dimorphism in the Northeast Treefrog Hyla ussuriensis (Anura:Hylidae) in China

Peng LIU  Zhiying ZHANG  Shuai ZHAO  Wenge ZHAO  
【摘要】:Sexual size dimorphism(SSD) plays a significant role in understanding the evolution of life history and mating behavior. In this study,we analyzed the morphological data from a treefrog,Hyla ussuriensis,in northeastern China and found that there are significant differences between males and females. Females that are larger in body size increase fecundity as the total number of eggs is positively correlated to female body size. Males are smaller in body size due to the mate choice by females based on the size dimorphism index(SVL mean of female divided by that of male) for the population,which may be an evolutionary stable strategy(ESS). SSD can be influenced not only through mate choice,but also reproductive behavior by analyzing the female reproduction output in the field. Our data are consistent with many previous studies,indicating that fecundity selection and sexual selection may be the common cause for sexual dimorphism in this species. Furthermore,there are no significant morphological differences between mated and unmated frogs of both sexes,which suggests that any frog can obtain a breeding chance when it matures. It further indicates that males may not affect female choice except by their snout-vent length(SVL) and body mass. It is,of course,possible that females adopt a mating strategy to mate with males whose SVL and body mass are smaller than paired females. Our research provides unequivocal evidence for effective female choice and information on the evolution of SSD in the production of anuran pairing patterns.

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