Life-history traits and the first demographic data of Iranian population of the West Asian Lemon-Yellow Tree Frog, Hyla savignyi (Audouin, 1827)

  • Raziyeh Alaei Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Arak University, 3813853945 Arak, Iran
  • Alireza Pesarakloo Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Arak University
  • Masoumeh Najibzadeh Iranian Plateau Herpetology Research Group (IPHRG), Razi University 6714967346 Kermanshah, Iran
  • Sayed Jamal Mirkamali Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Arak University 3813853945 Arak, Iran
Keywords: life-history, Hyla savignyi, metamorphosis, sexual size dimorphism (SSD), survival rate, life expectancy, tree-frog


The life-history of an organism consists of its lifetime pattern of growth, development, storage, age, and reproduction. In this study, some life-history traits of Hyla savignyi were studied in populations from different parts of Iran. The microscopic and macroscopic analysis showed that testicular activity in H. savignyi is potentially continuous, reaching its peak level in April. Metamorphosis was completed in approximately 102 days after egg deposition, and body size at metamorphosis was 10 mm. Significant sexual size dimorphism was present in all populations, and a larger female asymptotic body size was observed (43.07 mm for females vs 41.16 mm for males). The adult survival rate (S) and life expectancy (ESP) were the same for both sexes (S = 0.73 and ESP = 4.2 years). Age and body size were positively correlated with each other for both females and males. Maximum longevity was recorded to be six years in both females and males, and ages of sexual maturity were estimated to be two or three years in breeding individuals. The adult sample age ranged from two to six years (mean age of females: 4.40±0.68 years; males: 3.63±0.13 years). Our data confirm the general patterns of body size variation and mean age in anurans and show that females are larger than males and live longer.


Adolph, S. C. & Porter, W. P. (1996): Growth, seasonality, and lizard life histories: age and size at maturity. – Oikos 77: 267–278.

Al-Jaberi, M. & Moussawi, A. (2020): Sexual size dimorphism in Hyla savignyi Audouin, 1827 (Anura: Hylidae) from Nasiriyah Province, southern of Iraq. – Al-Qadisiyah Journal of Pure Science 25(1): 7–13.

Altunişik, A. (2018): The first demographic data and body size of the southern banded newt, Ommatotriton vittatus (Caudata: Salamandridae). – Acta Herpetologica 13: 13–19.

Arısoy, A. G. & Başkale, E. (2019): Body size, age structure and survival rates in two populations of the Beyşehir frog Pelophylax caralitanus. – Herpetozoa 32: 195–201.

Bancroft, J. D. & Steven, A. (1990): Theory and practice of histological technique. 3rd ed. – New York, Churdchill Livingstone.

Başkale, E., Ulubeli, S. A. & Kaska, Y. (2018): Age structures and growth parameters of the Levantine frog, Pelophylax bedriagae, at different localities in Denizli, Turkey. – Acta Herpetologica 13: 147–154.

Behera, S. (2012): Histological observation of gonads during breeding and non breeding season of Trichogaster fasciatus in Shanti Jheel, west Bengal. – Journal of Biology 1: 205–214.

Bernardo, J. (1993): Determinants of maturation in animals. – Trends in Ecology & Evolution 8: 166–173.

Berven, K. A. (1982): The genetic basis of altitudinal variation in the wood frog Rana sylvatica. I. An experimental analysis of life-history traits. – Evolution 36: 962–983. ­

Berven, K. A. & Chadra, B. G. (1988): The relationship among egg size, density and food level on larval development in the wood frog (Rana sylvatica). – Oecologia 75: 67–72.

Berven, K. A. & Gill, D. E. (1983): Interpreting geographic variation in life-history traits. – Integrative and Comparative Biology 23: 85–97.

Berven, K. A., Gill, D. E. & Smith-Gill, S. J. (1979): Counter gradient selection in the green frog, Rana clamitans. – Evolution 33: 609–623.

Bülbül, U., Kutrup, B., Eroğlu, A. I., Koç, H., Kurnaz, M. & Odabaş, Y. (2018): Life-history traits of a Turkish population of the Yellowbellied Toad, Bombina variegata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Anura: Bombinatoridae). – Herpetozoa 31: 11–19.

Cardoso, A. J. & Haddad, C. F. B. (1992): Diversidade e turno de vocalizações de anuros em comunidade neotropical. – Acta Zoologica Lilloana 41: 93–105.

Castanet, J. & Smirina, E. M. (1990): Introduction to the skeletochronological method in amphibians and reptiles. – Annales des sciences naturelles/ Zoologie et Biologie Animale 11: 191–196.

Cheatsazan, H., Mahjoorazad, A., Rabani, V. & Kami, H. (2005): Distribution of the Yellow-Lemon Tree Frog, Hyla savignyi Audouin, 1827 (Anura: Hylidae) in Iran. – Zoology in the Middle East 36: 109–111.

Çiçek, K., Kumaş, M., Ayaz, D., Mermer, A. & Engin, Ş. D. (2011): Age structure of Levant water frog, Pelophylax bedriagae, in Lake Sülüklü (Western Anatolia, Turkey). – Basic and Applied Ecology 25: 73–80.

Cogâlniceanu, D. & Miaud, C. (2003): Population age structure and growth in four syntopic amphibian species inhabiting a large river floodplain. – Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 1096–1106.

Driscoll, D. A. (1999): Skeletochronological assessment of age structure and population stability for two threatened frog species. – Australian Journal of Ecology 24: 182–189.

Duellman, W. E. & Trueb, L. (1986): Biology of amphibians. – McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 109–140.

Erişmiş, U. C. (2018): Age, size, and growth of the Turkish endemic frog Pelophylax caralitanus (Anura: Ranidae). – The Anatomical Record 301: 1224–1234.

Erişmiş, U. C. & Chinsamy, A. (2010): Ontogenetic changes in the epiphyseal cartilage of Rana (Pelophylax) caralitana (Anura: Ranidae). – The Anatomical Record 293: 1825–1837.

Gibbons, M. M. & McCarthy, T. K. (1986): The reproductive output of frogs Rana temporaria (l.) with particular reference to body size and age. – Journal of Herpetology 209: 579–593.

Guarino, F. M., Lunardi, S., Carlomagno, M. & Mazzotti, S. (2003): A skeletochronological study of growth, longevity, and age at sexual maturity in a population of Rana latastei (Amphibia, Anura). – Journal of Biosciences 28: 775–782.

Gül, S., Özdemir, N., Üzüm, N., Olgun, K. & Kutrup, B. (2011): Body size and age structure of Pelophylax ridibundus populations from two different altitudes in Turkey. – Amphibia-Reptilia 32: 287–292.

Halliday, T. R. & Verrell, P. A. (1988): Body size and age in amphibians and reptiles. – Journal of Herpetology 22: 253–265.

Hemelaar, A. (1985): An improved method to estimate the number of year rings resorbed in phalanges of Bufo bufo (l.) and its implications to populations from different latitudes. – Amphibia-Reptilia 6: 323–341.

Hemelaar, A. (1988): Age, growth and other population characteristics of Bufo bufo from different latitudes and altitudes. – Journal of Herpetology 22(4): 369–388.

Huang, W. S., Lin, J. Y. & Yu, J. U. L. (1996): The male reproductive cycle of the toad, Bufo bankorensis, in Taiwan. – Zoological Studies 35: 128–137.

Jin, L., Chen, C. H., Liao, W. (2017): Altitudinal variation in body size and age in male Spot-Legged treefrog (Polypedates megacephalus). – Russian Journal of Ecology 48: 476–481.

Kami, H. G. (1995): Amphibians of Iran. – Tehran University Press, Tehran, 178 pp. [in Farsi]

Kaptan, E. & Murarhanoglu, O. (2008): Annual morphological cycles of testis and thumb pad of the male frog (Rana ridibunda). – The Anatomical Record 291: 1106–1114. ­

Konvalina, J. D., Trauth, S. E. & Plummer, M. V. (2018): Spermatogenesis and testicular cycle in Rough Greensnakes, Opheodrys aestivus, from Arkansas. – Journal of Herpetology 52: 185–192.

Kupfer, A. (2007): Sexual size dimorphism in amphibians: an overview. Pp. 50–59. In: Daphne, J. F., Wolf, U. B. & Székely, T. (eds): Sex, size and gender roles: Evolutionary studies of sexual size dimorphism. – Oxford University Press.

Kutrup, B., Çakir, E., Çolak, Z., Bülbül, U. & Karaoğlu, H. (2011): Age and growth of the green toad, Bufo viridis (Laurenti, 1768), from an island and a mainland population in Giresun, Turkey. – Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 10: 1469–1472.

Kutrup, B., Yilmaz, N. & Bulbul, U. (2005): Age structure in two populations of Triturus vittatus ophryticus at different altitudes. – Amphibia-Reptilia 26: 49–54.

Liao, W. B., Lu, X., Shen, Y. W. & Hu, J. C. (2011): Age structure and body size of two populations of the rice frog Rana limnocharis from different altitudes. – Italian Journal of Zoology 78: 215–221.

Lofts, B. (1974): Reproduction. Pp. 107–218. In: Lofts, B. (ed.): Physiology of the amphibia. – Academic Press, New York.

Loumbourdis, N. S. & Kyriakopoulou-Sklavounou, P. (1991): Reproductive and lipid cycles in the male frog Rana ridibunda in northern Greece. – Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. A, Comparative Physiology 99: 557–583.

Lovich, J. E. & Gibbons, J. W. (1992): A review of techniques for quantifying sexual size dimorphism. – Growth Develop Aging 56: 269–269.

Matthews, K. R. & Miaud, C. (2007): A skeletochronological study of the age structure, growth, and longevity of the mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa, in the Sierra Nevada, California. – Copeia 2007: 986–993.[986:ASSOTA]2.0.CO;2

McCreary, B., Pearl, C. A. & Adams, M. J. (2008): A protocol for aging anurans using skeletochronology (No. 1209). – US Geological Survey, Reston, 37 pp.

Meshaka, W. E. (2001): The Cuban Tree frog in Florida. Life history of a successful colonizing species. – University Press of Florida, 224 pp.

Miaud, C., Guyétant, R. & Elmberg, J. (1999): Variations in life-history traits in the common frog Rana temporaria (Amphibia: Anura): a literature review and new data from the French Alps. – Journal of Zoology 249: 61–73.

Miaud, C., Guyetant, R. & Faber, H. (2000): Age, size, and growth of the Alpine Newt, Triturus alpestris (Urodela: Salamandridae), at high altitude and a review of life history trait variation throughout its range. – Herpetologica 56: 135–144.

Mirzajani, A. R., Kiabi, B. & Bagheri, S. (2006): Study of larval growth and population estimation of Rana ridibunda in Anzali wetland. – Iranian Journal of Biology 19: 191– 202. [in Persian]

Momeni, M. & Zamatkesh, E. (2005): Study of frog farming probability of the Anzali wetland (Rana ridibunda). – The First National Congress of Aquatic and Animal Science. Tehran University, Karaj, pp. 1075–1078.

Monnet, J. M. & Cherry, M. I. (2002): Sexual size dimorphism in anurans. – The Royal Society of London, Series B 269: 2301–2307.

Morrison, C., Hero, J. M. & Browning, J. (2004): Altitudinal variation in the age at maturity, longevity, and reproductive lifespan of anurans in subtropical Queensland. – Herpetologica 60: 34–44.

Olgun, K., Üzüm, N., Avcı, A. & Miaud, C. (2005): Age, size and growth of the southern crested newt Triturus karelinii (Strauch 1870) in a population from Bozdağ (Western Turkey). – Amphibia-Reptilia 26: 223–230.

Otero, M. A., Valetti, J. A., Bionda, C. L., Salas, N. E. & Martino, A. L. (2017): Are ploidy and age size-related? A comparative study on tetraploid Pleurodema kriegi and octoploid P. cordobae (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Central Argentina. – Zoologischer Anzeiger 268: 136–142.

Özdemir, M., Altunışık, A., Ergül, T., Gül, S., Tosunoglu, M., Cadeddu, G. & Giacoma, C. (2012): Variation in body size and age structure among three Turkish populations of the treefrog Hyla arborea. – Amphibia-Reptilia 33 : 25–35.

Patrelle, C., Hjernquist, M. B., Laurila, A., Söderman, F. & Merila, J. (2012): Sex differences in age structure, growth rate and body size of common frogs Rana temporaria in the subarctic. – Polar Biology 35: 1505–1513.

Pesarakloo, A. & Najibzadeh, M. (2019): Life-history of the Levant water frog, Pelophylax bedriagae (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) in western Iran. – Journal of Animal Diversity 1: 11–19.

Pesarakloo, A., Rastegar-Pouyani, N., Najibzadeh, M., Rastegar-Pouyani, E., Gharzi, A. & Shayestehfar, A. (2015): Interactive effects of temperature and food availability on the Marsh Frog (Pelophylax ridibundus) tadpoles in western Iran. – Asian Journal of Conservation Biology 4: 130–135.

Rastegar Pouyani, N., Fattahi, A., Karamiani, K. & Takesh, M. (2015): Sexual size dimorphism in Hyla savignyi Audouin, 1827 (Anura: Hylidae) from Kermanshah Province, Western Iran. – Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 11(1): 17–22.

Reinhard, S., Renner, S. & Kupfer, A. (2015): Sexual dimorphism and age of Mediterranean salamanders. – Zoology 118: 19–26.

Reznick, D. N. (1990): Plasticity in age and size at maturity in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata): an experimental evaluation of alternative models of development. – Journal of Evolutionary Biology 3: 185–203.

Rugh, R. (1951): The frog its reproduction and development. – The Blakiston Company, Toronto, 336 pp.

Ryser, J. (1988): Determination of growth and maturation in the common frog, Rana temporaria, by skeletochronology. – Journal of Zoology 216: 673–685.

Sarasola-Puente, V., Gosá, A., Oromí, N., Madeira, M. J. & Lizana, M. (2011): Growth, size and age at maturity of the agile frog (Rana dalmatina) in an Iberian Peninsula population. – Zoology (Jena) 114(3): 150–154.

Sasso-Cerri, E., De Faria, F. P., Freymüller, E. & Miraglia, S. M. (2004): Testicular morphological changes during the seasonal reproductive cycle in the bullfrog Rana catesbeiana. – Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Comparative Experimental Biology 301: 249–260.

Seber, G. A. F. (1973): The estimation of animal abundance and related parameters. – Griffin, London, 506 pp.

Serra-Cobo, J., Uiblein, F. & Martinez-Rica, J. P. (2000): Variation in sexual dimorphism between two populations of the Pyrenean salamander Euproctus asper from ecologically different mountain sites. – Belgian Journal of Zoology 130: 39–45.

Shine, R. (1979): Sexual selection and sexual dimorphism in the Amphibia. – Copeia 1979: 297–305.

Socha, M. & Ogielska, M. (2010): Age structure, size and growth rate of water frogs from central European natural Pelophylax ridibundus–Pelophylax esculentus mixed populations estimated by skeletochronology. – Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 239–250. ­

Stearns, S. C. (1976): Life-history tactics: a review of the ideas. – The Quarterly Review of Biology 51: 3–47.

Stearns, S. C. & Koella, J. C. (1986): The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in life-history traits: predictions of reaction norms for age and size at maturity. – Evolution 40: 893–913.

Toxopeus, A. G., Ohm, M. & Arntzen, J. W. (1993): Reproductive biology of the parsley frog, Pelodytes punctatus, at the northernmost part of its range. – Amphibia-Reptilia 14: 131–147.

Tsiora, A. & Kyriakopoulou-Sklavounou, P. (2002): A skeletochronological study of age and growth in relation to adult size in the water frog Rana epeirotica. – Zoology 105: 55–60.

Vargas-Salinas, F. (2006): Sexual size dimorphism in the Cuban tree frog Osteopilus septent­rionalis. – Amphibia-Reptilia 27: 419–426.

Von Bertalanffy, L. (1957): Quantitative laws in metabolism and growth. – The Quarterly Review of Biology 32: 217–231.

Wells, K. D. (1977): The social behaviour of anuran amphibians. – Animal Behaviour 25: 666–693.

Wells, K. D. (2001): The energetics of calling in frogs. Pp. 45–60. In: Ryan, M. E. (ed.): Anuran communication. – Smithsonian Press, Washington DC.

Young, K. A. (2005): Life history variation and allometry for sexual size dimorphism in Pacific salmon and trout. – Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 272: 167–172.

Zhang, X., Xiong, J. L., Lv, Y. Y., Zhang, L. & Sun, Y. Y. (2016): Sexual size and shape dimorphism in the Wushan salamander, Liuashihi (Liu, 1950) (Urodela: Hynobiidae). – Italian Journal of Zoology 81: 368–373.

How to Cite
AlaeiR., PesaraklooA., NajibzadehM., & MirkamaliS. J. (2021). Life-history traits and the first demographic data of Iranian population of the West Asian Lemon-Yellow Tree Frog, Hyla savignyi (Audouin, 1827). Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 67(3), 247–261.