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Differentiated egg size of the cannibalistic salamander Hynobius retardatus

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Title: Differentiated egg size of the cannibalistic salamander Hynobius retardatus
Authors: Michimae, Hirofumi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: Cannibalism
Clutch size
Egg size
Maternal effect
Issue Date: May-2007
Publisher: Springer
Journal Title: Journal of Ethology
Volume: 25
Issue: 2
Start Page: 153
End Page: 158
Publisher DOI: 10.1007/s10164-006-0009-9
Abstract: Larvae of the salamander, Hynobius retardatus, are carnivorous, and even though there are two morphs, a typical morph and a broad-headed or “cannibal” morph, both are cannibalistic. They also sometimes eat other large prey, for example larvae of the frog, Rana pirica. In natural habitats, use of both conspecific and R. pirica larvae as food may contribute more strongly to high survival and substantially to fitness when larval densities are higher, because early-stage H. retardatus larvae sometimes experience scarcity of their typical prey. In cannibalistic oviparous amphibians, larger individuals that developed from larger eggs can more efficiently catch and consume larger prey and thus their survival may be better than that of smaller individuals developed from smaller eggs. Populations might therefore diverge in respect of egg size in response to variation in the density of conspecific and R. pirica larvae in natural ponds, with eggs being larger when larval density is higher. I examined how variance in hatchling size correlated with the incidence of cannibalism, and whether increasing larval density in natural ponds correlated with increasing egg size. Variance in initial larval body size facilitated cannibalism, and egg size increased as larval density in the ponds increased. In ponds with high larval density, where cannibalism and large prey consumption is a critical factor in offspring fitness, the production of fewer clutches with larger eggs, and thus of fewer and larger offspring, results in greater maternal fitness. Variation among the mean egg size in populations is likely to represent a shift in optimum egg size across larval density gradients.
Rights: The original publication is available at
Type: article (author version)
Appears in Collections:理学院・理学研究院 (Graduate School of Science / Faculty of Science) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

Submitter: 道前 洋史

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