Vol. 18 No. 2 (2023)

Interpopulation variation in prebreeding energy reserves of plateau brown frog (Rana kukunoris)

Xiao Fang Cheng
College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, SD 464000
Wen Hao Shi
College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, SD 464000
Hai Ying Li
College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, SD 464000
Tong Lei Yu
College of Life Science, Xinyang Normal University, SD 464000

Published 2023-12-27


  • Energy storage,
  • post-hibernation,
  • plateau brown frog,
  • Tibetan plateau

How to Cite

Cheng, X. F., Shi, W. H., Li, H. Y., & Yu, T. L. (2023). Interpopulation variation in prebreeding energy reserves of plateau brown frog (Rana kukunoris). Acta Herpetologica, 18(2), 79–86. https://doi.org/10.36253/a_h-13478

Funding data


The energy storage plays a prominent part in the life histories of many animals inhabiting cold harsh environment, thus anuran amphibians rely on larger residual energy stores from post-hibernation to cope with unfavourable weather conditions before breeding. As the habitat conditions often change in different locations, selective pressure for energy storage could also vary. However, we still have limited knowledge on whether anurans living under different environmental backgrounds would adopt suitable strategies to cope with energy demands during reproduction. Here, we examined patterns of energy storage in spring (after hibernation and before reproduction) in seven plateau brown frog (Rana kukunoris) populations with different climatic conditions in the eastern Tibetan Plateau. After removing the effects of age and body size, liver weights of both sexes and fat body weights in males were negatively correlated with temperature, suggesting that these reserves were critical for this anuran to survive through harsh and extended dormancy period under uncertain environmental conditions. Additionally, reproductive investment in both sexes could partly explain the increase in post-hibernation energy stores with decreasing temperature. Males had relatively heavier liver and fat body weights than females, indicating that males store more energy reserves for breeding activity compared with females. Therefore, we suggest that both the variation of environmental conditions and sexual differentiation of reproductive roles play a prominent role in shaping the energy allocation and reserve patterns in the dormancy and breeding of amphibian species.


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