, Volume 63, Issue 9, pp 1281-1293
Date: 05 Jun 2009

Site fidelity and patterns of short- and long-term movement in the brilliant-thighed poison frog Allobates femoralis (Aromobatidae)

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Abstract

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.

Communicated by J. Christensen-Dalsgaard