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Sperm competition selects for increased testes mass in Australian frogs

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Game theory predicts that investment in spermatogenesis will increase with the risk and intensity of sperm competition. Widespread support for this prediction has come from comparative studies of internal fertilizing species reporting positive associations between testes mass and the probability that females mate with more than one male. Data for external fertilizers have generated conflicting results. We investigated how risk of sperm competition affects testes size in two families of Australian frogs: the Myobatrachidae and the Hylidae. We also examined effects of clutch size, egg size and oviposition location as alternative factors that might influence sperm production. Species were ranked according to probability of group spawning, and hence risk of sperm competition. Controlling for body size and phylogenetic relationships, we demonstrated that within the Myobatrachidae, the risk of sperm competition explained a significant amount of variation in testes mass. Oviposition location had a weak influence, with species ovipositing into foam having smaller testes. No significant effects of clutch size or egg size were detected. In hylids, the relationship between testes mass and risk of sperm competition was positive but not significant, again with no predictable effects related to egg size or number. These data provide an important test of sperm competition theory for externally fertilizing taxa.

Publication Date


  • 2002

Citation


  • Byrne, P. G., Roberts, J. D., & Simmons, L. W. (2002). Sperm competition selects for increased testes mass in Australian frogs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 347-355. doi:10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00409.x

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0036093064

Start Page


  • 347

End Page


  • 355

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 3

Abstract


  • Game theory predicts that investment in spermatogenesis will increase with the risk and intensity of sperm competition. Widespread support for this prediction has come from comparative studies of internal fertilizing species reporting positive associations between testes mass and the probability that females mate with more than one male. Data for external fertilizers have generated conflicting results. We investigated how risk of sperm competition affects testes size in two families of Australian frogs: the Myobatrachidae and the Hylidae. We also examined effects of clutch size, egg size and oviposition location as alternative factors that might influence sperm production. Species were ranked according to probability of group spawning, and hence risk of sperm competition. Controlling for body size and phylogenetic relationships, we demonstrated that within the Myobatrachidae, the risk of sperm competition explained a significant amount of variation in testes mass. Oviposition location had a weak influence, with species ovipositing into foam having smaller testes. No significant effects of clutch size or egg size were detected. In hylids, the relationship between testes mass and risk of sperm competition was positive but not significant, again with no predictable effects related to egg size or number. These data provide an important test of sperm competition theory for externally fertilizing taxa.

Publication Date


  • 2002

Citation


  • Byrne, P. G., Roberts, J. D., & Simmons, L. W. (2002). Sperm competition selects for increased testes mass in Australian frogs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 347-355. doi:10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00409.x

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-0036093064

Start Page


  • 347

End Page


  • 355

Volume


  • 15

Issue


  • 3