The effect of varying photoperiod regimes (LD: 20,4; 4,20; 6,18; 18,6 and 12,12) on ovarian follicular development was analysed in the frogRana tigrina maintained at ambient and constant 30° ± l°C for 3 months. The experiments were conducted in early recrudescent and quiescent phases. The frogs were fed guppiesad libitum on alternate day. None of the photoperiod regimes had any effect on the ovaries or the fat bodies, whereas exposure to constant high temperature (regardless of photoperiod) during recrudescent phase induced production of greater number of eggs (∼ 18000 vs 13000 in controls) of ovulatory sizes (> 1400 μm) compared to the corresponding controls maintained at ambient temperature. Hence, ovarian mass also increased in these frogs. In the quiescent phase, high temperature merely enhanced growth of previtellogenic oocytes. In both the phases high temperature caused a reduction in the fat bodies over the respective controls, possibly due to increased metabolic activity.
The above findings indicate that temperature plays a key role in the regulation of ovarian cycle ofRana tigrina and that the photoperiodic mechanisms may not govern the annual recrudescence of ovaries in the frog. The study also shows that the frog exhibits the phenomenon of “phenotypic plasticity” in its reproductive behaviour by producing significantly greater number of eggs in response to elevated temperature.