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Print version ISSN 0001-3765On-line version ISSN 1678-2690


MEDEIROS, CAMILA I.; BOTH, CAMILA; KAEFER, IGOR L.  and  CECHIN, SONIA Z.. Reproductive phenology of the American Bullfrog in subtropical Brazil: photoperiod as a main determinant of seasonal activity. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2016, vol.88, n.3, suppl., pp.1909-1921.  Epub July 11, 2016. ISSN 0001-3765.

The North American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus continues to invade ecosystems worldwide, potentially causing population declines and even extinctions. Within its native distribution, bullfrogs show prolonged reproductive seasons and high fertility. However, data on breeding biology of bullfrogs ex-situ in invaded localities mainly comes from anecdotal reports. Understanding how invasive species are adjusting their life histories to new colonized environments is important for conservation purposes. Here we describe temporal and spatial abundance, calling activity, spawning and tadpole distribution of bullfrogs in southern Brazil. Eighteen samplings occurred during one year. The abundance of individuals was positively related to longer photoperiods and higher temperatures. Reproductive activity was also positively associated with longer photoperiods. Calling sites, spawning and tadpoles were associated with microhabitats presenting hydrophytes, which may provide shelter and thermal stability to bullfrogs. The reproductive seasonal activity of bullfrogs can be highly variable across its growing geographical range, but in subtropical Brazil it is associated with photoperiod, a highly predictable abiotic determinant. In our study area, bullfrogs presented a breeding season twice as long as that observed in some native localities. We suggest that management strategies directed to bullfrog populations must consider the habitat structures and seasonal regimes determined by each invaded environment.

Keywords : breeding; invasive species; Lithobates catesbeianus; microhabitat; recruitment; spatial distribution.

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