A population of individually marked adult Rana temporaria was studied during the breeding season in 1979–1988 in east-central Sweden. Annual return rate averaged 31% (range 16–51%) in males and 16% (range 5–33%) in females. Return rate was not size dependent but increased with every successful previous hibernation, indicating an increased survival rate with age. Return rate was not correlated with winter harshness. Once adult, males had on average 1.5 (maximum 6) seasons with the possibility of reproducing. Corresponding values for females were 1.4 and 4. Mean length of the breeding season was 20 (SD = 2) days. Calling generally started at water temperatures below 3 °C. The lowest spawning temperature was 1 °C. Average temperatures at spawning onset and peak spawning were 5 and 6 °C, respectively. Large males tended to arrive earlier at the pond than small males. Males arrived earlier and stayed longer than did females. The overall population sex ratio was close to unity. The operational sex ratio (OSR) varied during the breeding season, averaging 0.54 (one female to two males). No male was observed to mate more than once per season. I argue that survival selection is more important to male lifetime mating success than is competition in the breeding pond (sexual selection as affected by OSR and length of the breeding season).
- Biologi (106)