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Morphology and reproductive patterns of an assemblage of anurans from the Chihuahuan Desert Region, Mexico

Torres-Cervantes, Ricardo, Ramírez-Bautista, Aurelio, Berriozabal-Islas, Christian, Cruz-Elizalde, Raciel, Hernández-Salinas, Uriel
Journal of arid environments 2019 v.165 pp. 28-33
Anura, amphibians, breeding, clutch size, dry environmental conditions, females, femur, head, males, semiarid zones, sexual dimorphism, tibia, Chihuahuan Desert, Mexico
Amphibian communities in arid and semi-arid environments are highly dependent on environmental factors for breeding activities. A large number of species can also show different reproductive patterns and variation between sexes. In this study, the morphology and reproductive patterns in an assemblage of seven anuran amphibians from the southeast region of the Chihuahuan Desert were evaluated. Data on snout–vent length, weight (body mass), and morphological structures (head width and head, femur and tibia length) were recorded. Three size classes (small, medium and large) were identified, as well as three patterns of sexual dimorphism: i) females larger than males, ii) females larger than males in some morphological variables, and iii) females similar to males in all measured variables. Variation in clutch size and laying mass (weight) among species was also described, as well as three reproductive patterns (short season, long season, and continuous reproduction). This study expands our knowledge about sexual dimorphism and reproductive patterns in anurans from arid environments. Further studies analyzing the animals’ use of resources are necessary to determine the arrangement and distribution of the resource space by amphibians in arid and semi-arid environments.