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Data from: Kin-bias, breeding site selection, and female fitness in a cannibalistic Neotropical frog

Cite this dataset

Muralidhar, Pavitra; de Sá, Fábio P.; Haddad, Célio F. B.; Zamudio, Kelly R. (2013). Data from: Kin-bias, breeding site selection, and female fitness in a cannibalistic Neotropical frog [Dataset]. Dryad.


Resource availability influences sexual selection within populations and determines whether behaviours such as territoriality or resource sharing are adaptive. In Thoropa taophora, a frog endemic to the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest of Brazil, males compete for and defend limited breeding sites while females often share breeding sites with other females; however, sharing breeding sites may involve costs due to cannibalism by conspecific tadpoles. We studied a breeding population of T. taophora to determine (i) whether this species exhibits polygynous mating involving female choice for territorial males and limited breeding resources; (ii) whether limited breeding resources create the potential for male–male cooperation in defence of neighbouring territories; and (iii) whether females sharing breeding sites exhibit kin-biased breeding site choice, possibly driven by fitness losses due to cannibalism among offspring of females sharing sites. We used microsatellites to reconstruct parentage and quantify relatedness at eight breeding sites in our focal population, where these sites are scarce, and in a second population, where sites are abundant. We found that at localities where the appropriate sites for reproduction are spatially limited, the mating system for this species is polygynous, with typically two females sharing a breeding site with a male. We also found that females exhibit negative kin-bias in their choice of breeding sites, potentially to maximize their inclusive fitness by avoiding tadpole cannibalism of highly related kin. Our results indicate that male territorial defence and female site sharing are likely important components of this mating system, and we propose that kinship-dependent avoidance in mating strategies may be more general than previously realized.

Usage notes


Atlantic Coastal Forest
South America
São Paulo