Geographical variations in adult body size and reproductive life history traits in an invasive anuran, Discoglossus pictus

Zoology (Jena). 2016 Jun;119(3):216-223. doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2016.02.003. Epub 2016 Feb 18.


Variability in life history traits positively affects the establishment and expansive potential of invasive species. In the present study, we analysed the variation of body size in seven populations - two native and five invasive - of the painted frog (Discoglossus pictus, Anura: Discoglossidae), native to North Africa and introduced in southern France and the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula. Other life history traits (age at maturity, size at maturity, longevity, median age and potential reproductive lifespan) were analysed in a native and an invasive population. We observed geographic variations in adult body size, related mainly to mean annual precipitation. Thus, populations had greater body size as mean annual precipitation increased, resulting in bigger specimens in the invasive populations. Adult body size and growth rates also varied between sexes in all studied populations, with males significantly larger than females. Age distribution varied between native (1-5 years) and invasive populations (2-4 years) and also between sexes. Our results suggest that higher precipitation promotes faster growth rates and larger adult body size that could facilitate the successful establishment of invasive populations.

Keywords: Age structure; Anurans; Body size; Discoglossus pictus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Body Size*
  • Introduced Species
  • Mediterranean Region
  • Ranidae / anatomy & histology*
  • Ranidae / physiology*
  • Reproduction / physiology*