Copeia, 1994(2), pp. 406-412
Parental Contributions to Variation in Hatchling Size and Its Relationship to Growth and Metamorphosis in Tadpoles of Rana lessonae and Rana esculenta


We examined the effect of maternal and paternal contributions to the development and size of hatchlings and its correlation with growth and metamorphosis in tadpoles of two species of anurans (Rana lessonae and Rana esculenta). Female contribution influenced the size of hatchlings, but male contribution alone had no effect on hatchling characteristics. However, the interaction of male and female contributions influenced hatchling size and indicates the significant effect of dominance-genetic variation. Hatchling size and developmental stage were negatively correlated with female size in R. Iessonae but less so in R. esculenta. In contrast, hatchling size and developmental stage were positively correlated with male size in both species. Hatchling size and development was significantly correlated with growth rate, size at metamorphosis, and length of the larval period under high food level for one species (R. Iessonae) but showed almost no correlations for the other species at either food level. Our data indicate that maternal contributions as well as the interaction of male and female genetic contributions must be considered important determinants of variation in hatchling size. Also, that such variation may influence fitness-related traits such as timing of or size at metamorphosis only under certain conditions of food availability.

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Peter Beerli, Dept. of Genetics, University of Washington, Seattle 98195,