Skip to main content

Simultaneous polyandry increases fertilisation success in an African foam-nesting tree frog

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • In many animals females mate with multiple males during a single breeding season (polyandry), but the

    benefits of this mating system remain poorly understood. One hypothesis is that polyandry ensures the

    fertilization of a female’s ova (fertilization insurance hypothesis). We tested the fertilization insurance

    hypothesis in a natural population of African foam-nesting treefrogs, Chiromantis xerampelina, a species

    lacking male contest competition and in which females routinely mate with multiple males. We observed

    matings involving from one to 12 males and found that fertilization success was positively correlated with

    the number of mating males, but was unaffected by variance in clutch size or ambient temperature. Variance

    in fertilization success was also unrelated to the body size ratio of mating pairs. Critically, females

    that mated with more males also produced more tadpoles. These findings provide the first evidence that

    polyandry can benefit female frogs by increasing fertilization success and offspring production. We propose

    that fertilization insurance may account for the high incidence of simultaneous polyandry in frog

    species that use foam nests during breeding

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Byrne, P. G. & Whiting, M. (2008). Simultaneous polyandry increases fertilisation success in an African foam-nesting tree frog. Animal Behaviour, 76 (4), 1157-1164.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-51549102562

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1091&context=ihmri

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/ihmri/76

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 7

Start Page


  • 1157

End Page


  • 1164

Volume


  • 76

Issue


  • 4

Abstract


  • In many animals females mate with multiple males during a single breeding season (polyandry), but the

    benefits of this mating system remain poorly understood. One hypothesis is that polyandry ensures the

    fertilization of a female’s ova (fertilization insurance hypothesis). We tested the fertilization insurance

    hypothesis in a natural population of African foam-nesting treefrogs, Chiromantis xerampelina, a species

    lacking male contest competition and in which females routinely mate with multiple males. We observed

    matings involving from one to 12 males and found that fertilization success was positively correlated with

    the number of mating males, but was unaffected by variance in clutch size or ambient temperature. Variance

    in fertilization success was also unrelated to the body size ratio of mating pairs. Critically, females

    that mated with more males also produced more tadpoles. These findings provide the first evidence that

    polyandry can benefit female frogs by increasing fertilization success and offspring production. We propose

    that fertilization insurance may account for the high incidence of simultaneous polyandry in frog

    species that use foam nests during breeding

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Byrne, P. G. & Whiting, M. (2008). Simultaneous polyandry increases fertilisation success in an African foam-nesting tree frog. Animal Behaviour, 76 (4), 1157-1164.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-51549102562

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1091&context=ihmri

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/ihmri/76

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 7

Start Page


  • 1157

End Page


  • 1164

Volume


  • 76

Issue


  • 4