Thoropa species are distributed in southern and southeastern Brazil and have semiterrestrial tadpoles on rocky environments. Herein, we provide further data on reproduction, paternal care and tadpole cannibalism in T. miliaris. Guarding males were tested for disturbances in their egg masses. Egg masses were laid in stripes of wet rock; eggs were in a single layer and were adhered to the rock surface, roots, and to one another. The tadpoles hatched between four and six days. The egg number in two egg masses was 750 and 1190; eggs were gray and the yolk were about 1.7 mm in diameter; 2.3 mm with the jelly capsule. Aggressive interactions were observed between males. Males remained with their egg masses during the night and reacted aggressively to the experimental disturbances. Late stage tadpoles were found cannibalizing eggs. An egg mass in a recently formed wet stripe died from drought. The strips of wet rock are the only places where eggs and tadpoles can develop and represent a limiting factor for reproduction because they occur in short supply. For the females, the selection of newly formed wet strips may represent a trade-off between the advantages of using places free of cannibalistic and/or competitive tadpoles and the risks of losing offspring by drought. Our results do not support Cycloramphinae as a valid taxon, indicating that the morphological and behavioral similarities between Thoropa and Cycloramphus species should be interpreted as convergence.
Thoropa miliaris; parental care; reproduction; cannibalism; Atlantic forest; Brazil