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Cynthia Prado, Masao Uetanabaro and Célio Haddad

Abstract

Annual patterns of breeding activity, reproductive modes, and habitat use are described for a frog community in a seasonal environment, in the southern Pantanal, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. Data were collected monthly between January 1995 and December 1998. A total of 24 species from four families; Bufonidae (3 species), Hylidae (10 species), Leptodactylidae (9 species), and Microhylidae (2 species) were registered. Three reproductive activity patterns are recognized among these species: continuous, explosive, and prolonged; 50% of the species were explosive breeders. Seasonal pattern of reproduction was verified for three analyzed years (1995-1997); most species reproduced during the rainy season (Nov-Jan). The reproduction was aseasonal in 1998; unexpected rains in the dry season lead to an unusual breeding activity. Five reproductive modes were noted — 62.5% of the species have the generalized aquatic mode, and 33.3% deposit eggs embedded in foam nests. Many species used the same sites for reproduction, although temporal partitioning and calling site segregation was observed. The occurrence of many species that exhibit explosive breeding early in the rainy season is common in seasonal and open environments with variable and unpredictable rainfall, as is the case in the Pantanal.