A toad remains attached to the female for up to 135 days to… copulate

Patience and length of time… Harlequin toad Atelopus laetissimus, who lives in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in Colombia, will not make La Fontaine lie. He is able to stay up to 135 days hanging on the female’s back, without eating, in the hope of copulating, reports the New Scientist. He is a champion of the amplexus, this mating technique of the anurans which, devoid of a penis, cling to the female to fertilize her eggs by letting the sperm flow over them at the appropriate time. Luis Alberto Rueda-Solano (University of the Andes, Bogota) and his colleagues indicate in Animal Behavior from March that the amplexus lasts from 70 to 135 days, that the most massive males (they hardly exceed 4 cm) are the least likely to be dislodged by a rival, and that the gripping force can represent up to at 52 times the weight of the animal. The first to arrive will be the best served, conclude the authors.

The World of Science and Medicine

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