Mate choice, parental care and space use in Neotropical Glass Frogs

Project leader: Eva Ringler

Post-doc: Anyelet Valencia-Aguilar

Collaborators: Juan M. Guayasamin, Max Ringler

Funded by the Swiss National Science Fund (SNSF).

Amphibians feature diverse reproductive strategies, nonetheless we have currently only limited understanding about the evolutionary causes and correlates of this variation, as studies on parental care in amphibians are limited, with experimental data restricted to just a few species. In this project we investigate how species-specific differences in parental strategies are linked to differences in space use, communication, and associated cognitive capacities in male and female glassfrogs. We focus on three species with differential parental behaviour: Hyalinobatrachium valerioi (long-term male-only care), Ikakogi tayrona (long-term female-only care), and Teratohyla spinosa (short-term female-only care). We will characterize individual parental investment as well as intra- and inter-seasonal movement dynamics and properties of male advertisement calling in all three species. Further we will conduct experimental manipulations (cross fostering, translocation, playbacks) of adult frogs and clutches to identify causes for and cognitive strategies associated with distinct reproductive behaviours. Finally, we will assign parentage of embryos to adult frogs as well as establish cross-generational pedigrees of adult individuals in consecutive years to investigate how these differences in reproductive strategies finally impact on individual mating and reproductive success. These findings will not only broaden our knowledge about reproductive ecology of tropical anurans, but most importantly provide insight into the link between reproductive behaviour, space use, communication, and cognition

Mate choice, parental care and space use in Neotropical Glass Frogs