TitleSex recognition and mate choice by male western toads, Bufo boreas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMarco, A, Kiesecker, JM, Chivers, DP, Blaustein, AR
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Type of ArticleJournal Article

In field-based choice experiments, we examined sex recognition and mate choice in male western toads, Bufo boreas. When given a simultaneous choice between a male and a female of equal size, males did not discriminate between the sexes and attempted to amplex a male or a female with equal frequency. When a test male clasped a stimulus male, the stimulus male uttered a release call that caused the test male to release the stimulus male. Male-male amplexus never lasted more than 3 s, but male-female amplexus was tenacious and prolonged. Furthermore, males discriminated between gravid females that differed in body size, choosing larger gravid females over smaller ones, but they did not discriminate between gravid females or non-gravid females of equal size. In choice tests that excluded chemical cues, males jumped more frequently towards large females than small ones. Given that females are significantly larger than males, selecting larger individuals as potential mates increases the probability that males amplex with a female. (C) 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

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