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An overview of parental care in the foam-nesting frogs of the genus Leptodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae): current knowledge and future directions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 06:00 authored by Juan F.C. Carrillo, Diego J. Santana, Cynthia P.A. Prado

Amphibians exhibit diverse parental care behaviours, which may be performed by the female, male or both parents. In the Neotropical family Leptodactylidae, frogs in the genus Leptodactylus exhibit different parenting behaviours. The repertoire of care behaviours includes egg/nest attendance, nest chamber sealing, tadpole feeding with trophic eggs, and tadpole attendance associated with complex behaviours, such as pumping behaviour and channel digging. Based on the available information, we found that 23.8% of Leptodactylus species are known to exhibit post-fertilization parental care. Future studies should focus on mechanisms involved in parent-offspring communication, including acoustic and chemical signals. Moreover, behaviours such as provisioning with trophic eggs are not well understood and deserves further investigation. Because of these complex parental care behaviours, tadpole schooling, and relative easy observation, frogs in the genus Leptodactylus represent excellent models for studies interested in parent-offspring communication and evolution of parental care. 


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