Social and environmental influences on egg size evolution in frogs


Kyle Summers, Department of Biology, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA. Tel: 252 328 6304


The reproductive strategies of frogs are highly diverse, but analysis of these strategies in a phylogenetic context has lagged behind other taxa. Here we investigate associations between aspects of parental care and egg size in a phylogenetic context. We obtained data on egg size and parental care strategies in various species of frogs from the scientific literature. We developed a phylogenetic supertree of frogs by combining the results of multiple phylogenetic analyses using matrix representation parsimony. We used phylogenetic pairwise comparisons to investigate the correlation between various forms of parental care and egg size across the order Anura. We also investigated correlations between tadpole carnivory and egg size, and phytotelm breeding and egg size. We also investigated the association of egg size with several environmental factors. Parental care, male parental care, direct development, stream breeding and montane breeding habitats were all associated with large egg size. Female care (in species with trophic egg feeding), carnivory, use of small pools (phytotelmata) and use of temporary pools were not associated with egg size.