The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 04. Evolution of sexual dimorphism in the plateau brown frog fails to obey Rensch’s rule


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pp. 27-33

Authors: Tong Lei Yu, Yujie Li & Jin Dong Zhang

Abstract: Rensch’s rule describes sexual size dimorphism (SSD) that decreases with increasing body size when females are larger than males and SSD that increases when males are larger than females. The plateau brown frog Rana kukunoris, a species endemic to the eastern Tibetan Plateau, exhibits female-biased size dimorphism. Using data on body size from 26 populations and age from 21 populations, we demonstrated that SSD did not increase with increasing mean female snout-vent length (SVL) when controlling for sex-specific age structure, failing to support the Rensch’s rule. Thus, we suggest that fecundity selection (favouring large female size) balances out sexual selection (favouring large male size), which results in a similar divergence between males and females body size. In addition, sex-specific age differences explained most of the variation of SSD across populations.

Keywords: Age difference, Sexual size dimorphism, Rana kukunoris, Rensch's rule

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