Male breeding behaviour and mate acquisition in the Common toad, Bufo bufo

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Abstract

The breeding behaviour of a Common toad (Bufo bufo) population was studied at a breeding pond on Portland, Dorset. Major toad movements towards the breeding pond occurred on warm, wet nights when the temperature did not fall below 6°C. Males arrived earlier than females resulting in an initially exaggerated sex ratio which then slowly reduced as the breeding season progressed. No size assortative pairing was found although large males were more successful at mating than small males. Although males demonstrated no ESS (evolutionary stable strategy) in searching for a female between sites within the pond evidence suggesting the existence of one between the pond and an undefined area surrounding it was found.

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