Does size matter? – Reproductive success in Duttaphrynus melanostictus as a function of body size


  • Gunther Köhler Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt a.M., GERMANY
  • Katharina Geiß Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum, Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt a.M., GERMANY
  • Panupong Thammachoti Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University; Bangkok 10330, THAILAND


amphibians, breeding ecology, mating pattern, reproduction, Southeast Asia


We examined the mating pattern in the bufonid species Duttaphrynus melanostictus at a site in northeastern Thailand. During a breeding aggregation we determined snout–vent length (SVL) and body weight of amplectant males and females as well as of non-amplectant males. Additionally, we calculated the ratio of weight/SVL. In these parameters, there were no statistically significant differences between amplecting and non-amplecting males. We found a significant, moderate positive correlation for amplectant males and females SVL, indicating that larger females tend to mate with larger males. Thus, this positive correlation between the body sizes of mating partners is interpreted as evidence for size-assortative mating. We also provide a description of the advertisement call of this species from our study site.


Bioacoustics Research Program 2011. Raven Pro: Interactive Sound Analysis Software. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.

Davies, N.B. and Halliday, T.R. 1979. Competitive mate searching in male common toads, Bufo bufo. Animal Behaviour, 27: 1253–1267.

Fan, X.-L., Lin, Z.-H. and Ji, X. 2013. Male size does not correlate with fertilization success in two bufonid toads that show size-assortative mating. Current Zoology, 59: 740–746.

Fox, J. 2020. RcmdrMisc: R Commander miscellaneous functions. Available from, J. and Weisberg, S. 2019. An R companion to applied regression. SAGE Publication Inc, London, 449 p.

Gramapurohit, N.P. and Radder, R.S. 2012. Mating pattern, spawning behavior, and sexual size dimorphism in the tropical toad Bufo melanostictus (Schn.). Journal of Herpetology, 46: 412–416.

Gross, J. and Ligges, U. 2015. nortest: Tests for Normality. Available from

Höglund, J. 1989. Pairing and spawning patterns in the common toad, Bufo bufo: the effects of sex ratios and the time available for male-male competition. Animal Behaviour, 38: 423–429.

Köhler, J., Jansen, M., Rodríguez, A., Kok, P.J.R., Toledo, L.F., Emmrich, M., Glaw, F., Haddad, C.F.B., Rödel, M.-O. and Vences, M. 2017. The use of bioacoustics in anuran taxonomy: theory, terminology, methods and recommendations for best practice. Zootaxa, 4251: 1–124.

Liao, W.B. and Lu, X. 2012. Variation in mating patterns in the Andrew's toad Bufo andrewsi along an elevational gradient in southwestern China. Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 24: 174–186.

Lu, X. and Liao, W.B. 2011. Proximate mechanisms leading to large male-mating advantage in the Andrew's toad, Bufo andrewsi. Behaviour, 148: 1087–1102.

Olson, D.H., Blaustein, A.R. and O'Hara, R.K. 1986. Mating pattern variability among western toad (Bufo boreas) populations. Oecologia, 70: 351–356.

R Core Team 2019. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. Available from

R Studio Team 2018. RStudio: Integrated Development for R. RStudio. Available from

Sztatecsny, M., Jehle, R., Burke, T. and Hödl, W. 2006. Female polyandry under male harassment: the case of the common toad (Bufo bufo). Journal of Zoology, 270: 517–522.

Vogrin, M. and Miklič, A. 2005. Mating patterns of common toad Bufo bufo in a Slovenian pond. Acta Zoologica Sinica, 51: 513.

Wells, K.D. 1979. Reproductive Behavior and Male Mating Success in a Neotropical Toad, Bufo typhonius. Biotropica, 11: 301–307.

Wogan, G.O.U., Stuart, B.L., Iskandar, D.T. and McGuire, J.A. 2016. Deep genetic structure and ecological divergence in a widespread human commensal toad. Biology Letters, 12: 20150807.

Yu, T. and Lu, X. 2012. Mating patterns of Bufo raddei from three high altitude populations in southwestern China. The Herpetological Journal, 22: 213.

Yu, T.L. and Lu, X. 2010. Mating patterns of Minshan's toad (Bufo minshanicus) from three populations along an altitudinal gradient. Zoological Science, 27: 856–860.

Zhang, L., Yuan, X., Sheng, Y., Zhong, X., Liao, J., Liu, Z. and Chen, W. 2020. No male preference for large females in the Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus): Effect of the sex ratio and breeding system. Asian Herpetological Research, 11: 328–334.




How to Cite

Köhler, G. , Geiß, .K. and Thammachoti, P. 2022. Does size matter? – Reproductive success in Duttaphrynus melanostictus as a function of body size. Tropical Natural History. 22, 1 (Jul. 2022), 30–37.



Original Articles