Courtship and female competition in the majorcan midwife toad, Alytes muletensis

Sarah L. Bush, Diana J. Bell

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The courtship and mating behaviour of A. muletensis are described based on observations of captive toads. Courtship is prolonged and complex, with both sexes participating actively. Either sex can escape from amplexus and may do so if the partner fails to respond appropriately to courtship manoeuvres. Females control the pace and duration of courtship. Females unable to obtain a mate drop their eggs unfertilized. Both sexes produce courtship vocalizations and either sex may initiate courtship, although females were observed to do so only when they were in danger of dropping their eggs. Physical competition in the form of interference and grappling may occur between either males or females, but was observed more frequently between females. The active role played by females during courtship in this species is discussed with regard to sex-role reversal theory and opportunities for mate choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-303
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1997


  • courtship
  • Majorcan midwife toad
  • mate competition
  • mating behaviour

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