Breeding biology of Malabar Tree Toad Pedostibes tuberculosus (Anura: Bufonidae) from Castle Rock, Karnataka, India

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Deepak Deshpande
Nikhil Gaitonde


The Malabar Tree Toad Pedostibes tuberculosus Günther, 1876 is an endemic and endangered species from the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, however, its reproductive biology is barely understood.  In 2018, we opportunistically encountered a breeding aggregation of P. tuberculosus at Castlerock, Karnataka, and recorded its breeding behavior.  We found P. tuberculosus in the northern Western Ghats to aggregate in choruses and breed for a short duration (a couple of nights).  Males physically competed in short duels to gain access to females.  The males clasped the females around the armpits in a tight axillary amplexus lasting an entire night.  The female in an overnight amplexus laid approximately 150 eggs.  We observed the tadpoles to rapidly develop and complete metamorphosis within a month.  We highlight the variation in reproductive traits in populations of P. tuberculosus distributed along the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot which will aid in conservation and systematics of this species group. 

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