The mating behavior of the European common frog, Rana temporaria, was studied experimentally. Female body length was correlated with body mass as well as with fecundity. However, males showed no mating preference with regard to either female body length, body mass, or fecundity. In successive multiple matings, male readiness to re-mate as well as fertilization success did not vary among the first four matings. Further, fertilization success was not correlated with either the number of days since the previous fertilization, water volume in the experimental container, testes mass, female/male body length ratio, or female fecundity. However, there was a positive correlation between fertilization success and male fat reserve status. Sexual competition and mating patterns were studied in tanks in which operational sex ratio (OSR) and male density were manipulated, and time for sexual competition was allowed to vary. Successful take-overs and nonrandom mating (large male advantage) were observed only at a combination of a four-fold male bias in OSR and an unnaturally high male density (30-50/m2). I argue that in natural populations of Rana temporaria: (1) There is considerable intraspecific variation in the opportunity for sexual competition, (2) OSR influences mating pattern more than male density and time (duration of the prespawning period), and (3) nonrandom mating should be rare.
- Biologi (106)