Site fidelity and patterns of short- and long-term movement in the brilliant-thighed poison frog Allobates femoralis (Aromobatidae)
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- Ringler, M., Ursprung, E. & Hödl, W. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2009) 63: 1281. doi:10.1007/s00265-009-0793-7
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We studied movement and site fidelity of males and females of the territorial frog Allobates femoralis (Aromobatidae) in a population in the Nature Reserve “Les Nouragues” in French Guiana, South America. Observations during 3 months in 2006 ascertained intra-seasonal site fidelity for males and females. Males actively defend large multi-purpose territories whereas females retreat to small resting sites from where they commute to neighbouring males for courtship and mating. Female short-term movement corroborates the previous assumption of a polygynous or promiscuous resource-defence mating system. Year-to-year recaptures from 2005 until 2008 revealed distinct patterns of inter-annual movement for males and regional site fidelity for females. Males abandon their territories and have to re-negotiate them when reproduction starts again at the end of the dry season. Females are not subject to intra- or inter-sexual territorial competition and as a result move significantly less between reproductive seasons than males. Male long-term movement reflects spatial structure and prevailing social interactions and is a reliable indicator for tadpole deposition sites. The combined effects of intra- and inter-seasonal movement promote the diversity of mates for both sexes.