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Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Eric O. Thomas

First Committee Member

Lee Christianson

Second Committee Member

C. Greg Anderson

Third Committee Member

Paul A. Richmond

Abstract

Normal male dwarf African clawed frogs, Hymenochirus sp., possess bilateral, sexually dimorphic, subcutaneous breeding glands just posterior to the forelimbs. Previous studies have shown these glands release pheromones that attract conspecific females. This thesis shows the pheromones also stimulate the reproductive system of conspecific females. Females exposed to normal males prior to mating then allowed to mate with the normal males released a higher number of eggs than females who were not exposed to normal males prior to mating. Microscopic examination of ovarian tissue revealed that females exposed to normal males also produced more highly-developed oocytes than did females not exposed to normal males. These results suggest male Hymenochirus use pheromones not only to attract potential mates, but to increase female receptivity and readiness to mate. Evolutionarily, these pheromonal effects would likely benefit males by increasing their chances of breeding, increasing the number of eggs released by their mates, and thus the number of offspring in the next generation.

Pages

42

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