University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna - Research portal

Diagrammed Link to Homepage University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

Selected Publication:

Open Access Logo

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2019

Authors: Spring, S; Lehner, M; Huber, L; Ringler, E

Title: Oviposition and father presence reduce clutch cannibalism by female poison frogs.

Source: Front Zool. 2019; 16:8



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Huber Ludwig
Ringler Eva Maria

Vetmed Research Units
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition


Project(s): Behavioural flexibility in anuran amphibians

Fitness in complex life cycles


Abstract:
The consumption of conspecific young by adult individuals is a common phenomenon across various animal taxa. Possible adaptive benefits of such behaviour include the acquisition of nutrients, decreased competition for one"s own offspring, and/or increased mating opportunities. Clutch cannibalism has occasionally been observed in several species of Neotropical poison frogs, but the circumstances under which this behaviour occurs has rarely been investigated experimentally. Recent experiments with the poison frog Allobates femoralis have shown that males indiscriminately transport all clutches located inside their own territory to bodies of water, but become highly cannibalistic when taking over a new territory. Females are able to indirectly discriminate between their own and foreign clutches by location and take over transport duties of their own clutches only in the absence of the father. Cannibalism by A. femoralis females has not been previously observed. We thus asked if, and under which circumstances, cannibalism of unrelated clutches by female A. femoralis would occur, by manipulating the presence of the clutch"s father, the female"s own reproductive state, and the female"s familiarity with the environment.


© University of Veterinary Medicine ViennaHelp and Downloads