Territory size as a main driver of male-mating success in an Amazonian nurse frog (Allobates paleovarzensis, Dendrobatoidea)
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In polygamous mating systems, it is most often males that compete for the opposite sex, using strategies to provide access to as many females as possible. Females, on the other hand, constitute the sex that exerts the choice and so require a means of accessing the quality of a potential partner in comparison to its competitors. A common challenge in sexual selection studies is to identify the most relevant trait for mating success, since many are correlated with each other. In addition, little is known about how the female accesses the aspects related to male quality. In this context, we tested the role of different male characteristics on mating success in a natural environment using the Amazonian frog Allobates paleovarzensis as a model. A multiple linear regression model showed a positive relationship between territory size and number of male matings, while calling persistence was slightly related to the mating success. We did not detect a relation of the number of matings with the distance to the nearest body of water nor with male body size. Additionally, we observed that territory size was not related to calling persistence, but had a positive relation with the duration of the couple’s courting process. Thus, we conclude that: (1) territory size is the main determinant of male-mating success, and this is not correlated with the other attributes tested; and (2) females access the size of the males’ territory through the courting process that precedes oviposition.
KeywordsAnura Aromobatidae behavior courtship sexual selection
We thank Natan da Silva Mello for assistance with data collection and Irene da Silva Mello for logistical assistance during the fieldwork.
This research was funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, processes 401327/2012-4, 610023/2009-8) and by the Centro de Estudo Integrados da Biodiversidade Amazônica (CENBAM, process 722069/2009). This study was authorized by the Animal Use Ethics Committee (CEUA, process 0142016) from the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) and by the Sistema de Autorização e Informação em Biodiversidade (SISBio) from Brazilian Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio, process 51412).
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
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