• S Girish

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • The ontogeny of kin recognition in tadpoles of the toadBufo melanostictus (Anura; Bufonidae)

      S K Saidapur S Girish

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      The ontogeny of kin recognition and influence of social environment on the development of kin recognition behaviour was experimentally investigated in tadpoles of Bufo melanostictus that lived in aggregations and showed low larval dispersion. Embryos and tadpoles of the toad were reared as (i) kin only, (ii) with kin and non-kin (separated by a mesh screen), and (iii) in isolation. They were tested for the ability to discriminate between (i) familiar siblings and unfamiliar non-siblings, (ii) familiar siblings and familiar non-siblings and, (iii) unfamiliar siblings and unfamiliar non-siblings. All tadpoles were fed on boiled spinach before conducting trials. Preference of test tadpoles to associate near the end compartments whether empty or containing members of specific stimulus groups was assessed using a rectangular choice tank. When tested in tanks with empty end compartments, the test tadpoles showed random distribution and thus no bias for the apparatus or the procedure. In the presence of kin/non-kin in the end compartments a significantly greater number of test tadpoles spent the majority of the time near familiar or unfamiliar kin rather than near familiar or unfamiliar non-kin. Kin discrimination ability persisted throughout larval development. Familiarity with siblings is not required for discriminating kin from non-kin, and kin discrimination ability is not modified following exposure to non-kin. Also, involvement of dietary cues is unlikely to be the prime mechanism of kin recognition inB. melanostictus unlike in some other anurans.

    • Density-dependent growth and metamorphosis in the larval bronze frogRana temporalis is influenced by genetic relatedness of the cohort

      S Girish S K Saidapur

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      Effects of density and kinship on growth and metamorphosis in tadpoles ofRana temporalis were studied in a 2×4 factorial experiment. Fifteen egg masses were collected from streams in the Western Ghat region of south India. The tadpoles were raised as siblings or in groups of non-siblings at increasing density levels, viz. 15, 30, 60 and 120/5 l water. With an increase in density level from 15 to 120 tadpoles/5 l water, duration of the larval stage increased and fewer individuals metamorphosed irrespective of whether they belonged to sibling or non-sibling groups by day 100 when the experiments were terminated. The size of individuals at metamorphosis declined significantly with increase in the density of rearing. However, at higher densities (60 and 120 tadpoles/5 l water) sibling group tadpoles performed better compared to mixed groups and took significantly less time to metamorphose. Also, more individuals of sibling groups metamorphosed compared to non-sibling groups at a given density. Mixed rearing retarded growth rates, prolonged larval duration resulting in a wider spectrum of size classes, and lowered the number of individuals recruited to terrestrial life. The study shows that interference competition occurred more strongly in cohorts of mixed relatedness than in sibling groups.

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