Size-At-Age Variability and Sexual Dimorphism of Morphometric Characteristics in the Late Ontogenesis of the Marsh Frog, Pelophylax Ridibundus (Anura, Ranidae), from Terrytory of Crimea

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We study size-at-age and sexual variability of morphometric characteristics of the marsh frog. According to the size of the body, males were divided into three size-age groups (juvenis, subadultus, adultus), females — into four groups (juvenis, subadultus, adultus, adultus-I). We found that the chronological age of frogs (skeletochronology) does not always correspond to their biological age (size and proportions of the body). We noted that the semi-adult males are reliably larger than females by mean values of 26 studied morphometric characters. Males and females of “adultus” group do not differ by linear body size, significant differences were found in body proportions (7 characters). For the females of “adultus-I” group, the mean values of 26 characters are significantly larger than for “adultus” males. The results of our study showed that with the age of the marsh frog, the level of exhibition, directionality and structure of morphometric sex differences changes.

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