Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Effect to age on the geographic variation in morphometric traits among populations of Boana cordobae (Anura: Hylidae)


Boana cordobae
morphometric variables
altitudinal variation.
Boana cordobae
variables morfométricas
variación geográfica

How to Cite

Baraquet, M., Otero, M. A., Grenat, P. R., Babini, M. S., & Martino, A. L. (2018). Effect to age on the geographic variation in morphometric traits among populations of Boana cordobae (Anura: Hylidae). Revista De Biología Tropical, 66(4), 1401–1411.


The morphometric variation of body size is an important topic of the natural history of the species which has been received particular interest. In this study, we estimated differences in body size and age structure of six populations of Boana cordobae living at different altitudes, 808-2 310 m.a.s.l. in Córdoba and San Luis provinces (Argentina). We measured 15 morphometric variables and used skeletochronology to age determination of 79 individuals. Morphometric variables showed significant differences between sexes, being females larger than males, even when the effect of age was taken into account. We found a significant relationship between age and most of the morphometric variables. When removing the effects of age, we found significant inter-population differences in body size. Males from the high-elevation populations were larger than individuals from low-elevation populations. These results suggest that a difference in age structure between populations is a main factor for the geographic variation in body size of this species.


Angilletta, M. J. & Dunham, A. E. (2003). The temperature-size rule in ectotherms: Simple evolutionary explanations may not be general. The American Naturalist, 162, 332-342.

Angilletta, M. J., Steury, T. D., & Sears, M. W. (2004). Temperature, Growth Rate, and Body Size in Ectotherms: Fitting Pieces of a Life-History Puzzle. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 44, 498-509.

Altunişik, A. & Özdemir, N. (2013). Body size and age structure of a highland population of Hyla orientalis Bedriaga, 1890, in northern turkey (Anura: Hylidae). Herpetozoa, 26, 49-55.

Altunişik, A. & Özdemir, N. (2015). Life history traits in Bufotes variabilis (Pallas, 1769) from 2 different altitudes in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Zoology, 39,153-159.

Ashkavandi, S., Gharzi, A., & Abbassi, M. (2012). Age determination by skeletochronology (Anuran: Amphibia) in Rana ridibunda. Asian Journal of Experimental Biological Sciences, 3, 156-162.

Ashton, K. G. (2002). Do amphibians follow Bergmann’s rule? Canadian Journal of Zoology, 80, 708-716.

Ashton, K. G. (2004). Sensitivity of intraspecific latitudinal clines of body size for tetrapods to sampling, latitude and body size. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 44, 403-412.

Baraquet, M., Grenat, P. R., Salas, N. E., & Martino, A. L. (2012). Variación morfométrica y geográfica entre poblaciones de Hypsiboas cordobae (Anura: Hylidae) en Argentina. Cuadernos de Investigación UNED, 4, 147-155.

Baraquet, M., Salas, N. E., & Martino, A. L. (2013). Advertisement calls and interspecific variation in Hypsiboas cordobae and Hypsiboas pulchellus (Anura, Hylidae) from central Argentina. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica, 65, 79-486.

Barrio, A. (1965). Las subespecies de Hyla pulchella Duméril & Bibron (Anura, Hylidae). Phycis, 69,115-128.

Bernal, M. H. & Clavijo, J. A. (2009). An essay on precision in morphometric measurements in anurans: inter-individual, intra-individual and temporal comparisons. Zootaxa, 2246, 32-44.

Bionda, C., Kost, S., Salas, N., Lajmanovich, R., Sinsch, U., & Martino, A. (2015). Age structure, growth and longevity in the common toad, Rhinella arenarum, from Argentina. Acta Herpetologica, 10, 55-62.

Castellano, S. & Giacoma, C. (2000). Morphometric and advertisement call geographic variation in polyploid green toads. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 70, 341-360.

Cei, J. M. (1980). Amphibians of Argentina. Monitore Zoologico Italiano, Italian Journal of Zoology, 2, 1-609.

Cvetković, D., Tomašević, N., Ficetola, G. F., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., & Miaud, C. (2009). Bergmann’s rule in amphibians: combining demographic and ecological parameters to explain body size variation among populations in the common toad Bufo bufo. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 47, 171-180.

De Queiroz, A. & Ashton, K. G. (2004). The phylogeny of a species-level tendency: species heritability and possible deep origins of Bergmann’s rule in tetrapods. Evolution, 58, 1674-1684.

Di Rienzo, J. A., Casanoves, F., Balzarini, M. G., Gonzalez, L., Tablada, M., & Robledo, C. W. (2018). InfoStat versión. Argentina: Grupo InfoStat, FCA, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Recuperado de

Duellman, W. E. & Trueb, L. (1994). Biology of amphibians. McGraw-Hill, USA.

Fattah, A., Slimani, T., El Mouden, E. H., Grolet, O., & Joly, P. (2014). Age structure of a population of Barbarophryne brongersmai (Hoogmoed 1972) (Anura, Bufonidae) inhabiting an arid environment in the Central Jbilets (West-Morocco). Acta Herpetologica, 9, 237-242.

Green, D. E. (2018). Anesthesia of amphibians in the field. ARMI SOP No. 104: an online reference. Amphibian Research & Monitoring initiative National Wildlife Health Center 6006 Schroeder Road Madison. Retrieved from

Gül, S., Özdemir, N., Üzüm, N., Olgun, K., & Kutrup, B. (2011). Body size and age structure of Pelophylax ridibundus populations from two different altitudes in Turkey. Amphibia-Reptilia, 32, 287-292.

Halliday, T. R. & Verrell, P. A. (1988). Body size and age in amphibians and reptiles. Journal of Herpetology, 22, 253-265.

Heyer, W. R., Rand, A. S., Gonçalves da Cruz, C. A., Peixoto, O. L., &. Nelson, C. E. (1990). Frogs of Boracéia. Frogs of Boracéia. Arquivos de Zoologia. Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, (São Paulo), 31, 231-410.

Hsu, F. H., Hsieh, Y. S., Hu, S. H., & Kam, Y. C. (2014). Altitudinal variation in body size and age structure of the Sauter’s frog Rana sauteri in Taiwan. Zoological Studies, 53, 62.

Iturra-Cid, M., Ortíz, J. M., & Ibargüengoytía, N. R. (2010). Age, Size, and Growth of the Chilean Frog Pleurodema thaul (Anura: Leiuperidae): Latitudinal and Altitudinal Effects. Copeia, 4, 609-617.

Kupfer, A. (2009). Sexual size dimorphism in caecilian amphibians: analysis, review and directions for future research. Zoology, 112, 362-369.

Lai, Y. C., Lee, T. H., & Kam, Y. C., (2005). A skeletochronological study on a subtropical, riparian ranid (Rana swinhoana) from different elevations in Taiwan. Zoological Science, 22, 653-658.

Leclair, R., Leclair, M. H., Dubois, J., & Daoust, J. L. (2000). Age and size of wood frogs, Rana sylvatica, from Kuujjuarapik, Northern Quebec. The Canadian Field-Naturalist, 114, 381-387.

Lee, J. C. (1982). Accuracy and precision in anuran morphometrics: artifacts of preservation. Systematic Zoology, 31, 266-281.

Li, S. T., Wu, X., Li, D. Y., Lous, S. L, Mi, Z. P., & Liao, W. B. (2013). Body size variation of odorous frogs (Odorrana grahami) across altitudinal gradients. Herpetological Journal, 23, 187-192.

Liao, W. B. & Lu, X. (2010). Age structure and body size of the Chuanxi Tree Frog Hyla annectans chuanxiensis from two different elevations in Sichuan (China). Zoologischer Anzeiger, 248, 255-263.

Liao, W. B., Lu, X., Shen, Y. W., & Hu, J. C. (2010a). Age structure and body size of two populations of the rice frog Rana limnocharis from different altitudes. Italian Journal of Zoology, 78, 215-221.

Liao, W. B., Zhou, C. Q., Yang, Z. S., Hu, J. C., & Lu, X. (2010b). Age, size and growth in two populations of the dark-spotted frog Rana nigromaculata at different altitudes in southwestern China. Herpetological Journal, 20, 77-82.

Liao, W. B. & Lu, X. (2011). Variation in body size, age and growth in the Omei Treefrog (Rhacophorus omeimontis) along an altitudinal gradient in western China. Ethology Ecology and Evolution, 23, 248-261.

Liao, W. B., Lu, X., Shen, Y. W., & Hu, J. C. (2011). Age structure and body size of two populations of the rice frog Rana limnocharis from different altitudes. Italian Journal of Zoology, 78, 215-221.

Liu, W. C., Liu, Y. H., Huang, Y., Mi, Z. P., & Li, C. (2012). Skeletochronological Study on Age Structure of a Chinese Endemic Frog (Rana omeimontis). Asian Herpetological Reserch, 3, 252-257.

Lou, S. L., Jin, L., Liu, Y. H., & Mi, Z. P. (2012). Altitudinal variation in age and body size in Yunnan Pond Frog (Pelophylax pleuraden). Zoological Science, 29, 493-498.

Lovich, J. E. & Gibbons, J. W. (1992). A review of techniques for quantifying sexual size dimorphism. Growth, Development, and Aging, 56, 269-281.

Lu, X., Li, B., & Liang, J. J. (2006). Comparative demography of a temperate anuran, Rana chensinensis, along a relatively fine elevational gradient. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 84, 1789-1795.

Ma, X. Y., Tong, L. N., & Lu, X. (2009). Variation of body size, age structure and growth of a temperate frog, Rana chensinensis, over an elevational gradient in northern China. Amphibia-Reptilia, 30, 111-117.

Mao, M., Huang, Y., Mi, Z. P., Liu, Y. H., & Zhou, C. Q. (2012). Skeletochronological study of age, longevity and growth in a population of Rana nigromaculata (Amphibia: Anura) in Sichuan, China. Asian Herpetological Reserch, 3, 258-264.

Martino, A. L. & Sinsch, U. (2002). Speciation by polyploidy in Odontophrynus americanus. Journal of Zoology, 257, 67-81.

Mi, Z. P. (2015). Age structure and body size in a breeding population of Asiatic toad (Bufo gargarizans) in southwestern China. North-Western Journal of Zoology, 11, 178-182.

Miaud, C., Guyétant, R. & Elmberg, J. (1999). Variations in life-history traits in the common frog Rana temporaria (Amphibia: Anura): a literature review and new data from the French Alps. Journal of Zoology, 249, 61-73.

Morrison, C. & Hero, J. M. (2003). Geographic variation in life-history characteristics of amphibians: a review. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72, 270-279.

Morrison, C., Hero, J. M. & Browning, J. (2004). Altitudinal variation in the age at maturity, longevity, and reproductive lifespan anurans in subtropical Queensland. Herpetologica, 60, 34-44.

Olalla-Tárraga, M. A. & Rodríguez, M. A. (2007). Energy and interspecific body size patterns of amphibian faunas in Europe and North America: anurans follow Bergmann’s rule, urodeles its converse. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 16, 606-617.

Otero, M., Baraquet, M., Pollo, F., Grenat, P., Salas, N., & Martino, A. (2017a). Sexual size dimorphism in relation to age and growth in Hypsiboas cordobae (Anura: Hylidae) from Córdoba, Argentina. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 12, 141-148.

Otero, M. A., Valetti, J. A., Bionda, C. L., Salas, N. E., & Martino, A. L. (2017b). Are ploidy and age size-related? A comparative study on tetraploid Pleurodema kriegi and octoploid P. cordobae (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Central Argentina. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 268, 136 -142.

Özdemir, N., Altunışık, A., Ergül, T., Gül, S., Tosunoğlu, M., Cadeddu, G., & Giacoma, C., (2012). Variation in body size and age structure among three Turkish populations of the treefrog Hyla arborea. Amphibia-Reptilia, 33, 25-35.

Pancharatna, K. & Deshpande, S. A., (2003). Skeletochronological data on age, body size and mass in the Indian Cricket Frog Limnonectes limnocharis (BOIE, 1835) (Anura: Ranidae). Herpetozoa, 16, 41-50.

Partridge, L. & French, V. (1996). Thermal evolution of ectotherm body size: Why get big in the cold? In I. A. Johnston & A. F. Bennett (Eds.), Animals and temperature: Phenotypic and evolutionary adaptation (pp. 265-292). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Roff, D. A. (1992). The Evolution of Life Histories: Theory and Analysis. New York, USA: Chapman and Hall.

Rosso, A., Castellano, S., & Giacoma, C. (2004). Ecogeographic analysis of morphological and life-history variation in the Italian treefrog. Evolutionary Ecolcology, 18, 303-321.

Rozenblut, B. & Ogielska, M. (2005). Development and growth of long bones in Europea water frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae), with remarks on age determination. Journal of Morphology, 265, 304-317.

Sinsch, U. (2015). Review: Skeletochronological assessment of demographic life-history traits in amphibians. Herpetological Journal, 25, 5-13.

Todd, B. D., Scott, D. E., Pechmann, J. H., & Gibbons, J. W. (2011). Climate change correlates with rapid delays and advancements in reproductive timing in an amphibian community. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278, 2191-2197.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2018 Mariana Baraquet, Manuel Alejandro Otero, Pablo Raúl Grenat, María Selene Babini, Adolfo Ludovico Martino


Download data is not yet available.