New paper in Current Zoolgy


Odour cues rather than personality affect tadpole deposition in a Neotropical poison frog

Peignier M, Ringler M & Ringler E. 2023.
Current Zoology, 2023;, zoad042, Published online 15 September 2023


Animals constantly need to evaluate available external and internal information to make appropriate decisions. Identifying, assessing, and acting on relevant cues in contexts such as mate choice, intra-sexual competition, and parental care is particularly important for optimizing individual reproductive success. Several factors can influence decision-making, such as external environmental cues and the animal’s own internal state, yet, we have limited knowledge on how animals integrate available information. Here, we used an entire island population (57 males, 53 females, and 1109 tadpoles) of the neotropical brilliant-thighed poison frog Allobates femoralis to investigate how two factors (olfactory cues and personality traits) influence the ability of males to find and use new resources for tadpole deposition. We experimentally manipulated the location of tadpole deposition sites and their associated olfactory cues, and repeatedly measured exploration and boldness in adult males. We further reconstructed tadpole deposition choices via inferred parent-offspring relationships of adult frogs and tadpoles deposited in our experimental pools using molecular parentage analysis. We found that the discovery and use of new rearing sites was heavily influenced by olfactory cues, however we did not find an effect of the measured behavioural traits on resource discovery and use. We conclude that in highly dynamic environments such as tropical rainforests, individuals likely benefit more from using reliable external cues, rather than from relying on personality traits, to discover and make use of rearing resources.

Publication Figure 1

Figure 1