Amphibian sex

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Most animals are one gender throughout their lives, but some species are capable of switching. Amphibians, which exhibit several interesting examples of this phenomenon, sometimes change their sex in response to environmental triggers -- which may be social, climactic or chemical in nature. In some circumstances this appears to be historically natural, while others do so as a result of herbicides or other forms of environmental pollution. While chromosomes determine the initial gender of mammals and birds, environmental or epigenetic factors determine the gender of many other animals, including some reptiles, invertebrates and amphibians. Incubation temperatures are often important in determining the initial sex of an animal; but later, social or climactic variables can cause reversals for some species.
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Can Amphibians Change Their Sex?

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Amphibian sex determination and sex reversal | SpringerLink

Sexual selection in amphibians involves sexual selection processes in amphibians , including frogs , salamanders and newts. Prolonged breeders, the majority of frog species, have breeding seasons at regular intervals where male-male competition occurs with males arriving at the waters edge first in large number and producing a wide range of vocalizations, with variations in depth of calls the speed of calls [1] and other complex behaviours to attract mates. The fittest males will have the deepest croaks and the best territories, with females known to make their mate choices at least partly based on the males depth of croaking. There is a direct competition between males to win the attention of the females in salamanders and newts, with elaborate courtship displays to keep the females attention long enough to get her interested in choosing him to mate with. Important aspects of courtship displays include male alert posture, approach and pursuit, the marking of the substrate trail, and tail undulations. In the red-legged salamander Plethodon shermani , males directly apply pheromones onto the female's nares.
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Amphibian sex determination and sex reversal

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Amphibians employ a genetic mechanism of sex determination, according to all available information on sex chromosomes or breeding tests. Sex reversal allows breeding tests to establish which sex is heterogametic and provides an indication of the mechanism of sex determination. Cases of spontaneous and experimental sex reversal by temperature, hormones or surgery are reviewed and illustrated by previously unpublished studies on crested newts. These newts respond conventionally to temperature and hormone treatment but provide anomalous results from breeding tests. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
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