Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 329-333

The island rule in the Brazilian frog Phyllodytes luteolus (Anura: Hylidae): incipient gigantism?

Mageski, MarcioFerreira, Rodrigo BJesus, Paulo RCosta, Larissa C daRoper, James JFerreira, Paulo D

The island rule suggests that, when mainland animals are isolated on islands, large animals tend to become smaller, while small animals tend to become larger. A small frog in eastern Brazil, Phyllodytes luteolus (Wied-Neuwied, 1824), is widely distributed in association with bromeliads. At the end of the last glaciation, parts of the mainland became islands due to rising sea levels, thereby isolating frog populations on these islands. If the island rule holds, we predicted that frogs on islands would tend to be larger than frogs on the mainland. We compared sizes (weight and length) of 30 randomly selected male frogs from the mainland with 30 from an island in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil. We also sampled population density on the island and mainland because concurrent with changing sizes, depending on the causal relationship, density may also change. As predicted, island frogs tended to be larger (both in snout-vent length and weight) and were much more abundant. While not specifically addressed in this study, the absence of predators and interspecific competitors may explain both of these trends.(AU)

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