Multiple mate choice criteria and the importance of age for male mating success in the microhylid frog, Cophixalus ornatus

Felton, Adam, Alford, Ross A., Felton, Annika A., and Schwarzkopf, Lin (2006) Multiple mate choice criteria and the importance of age for male mating success in the microhylid frog, Cophixalus ornatus. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 59 (6). pp. 786-795.

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Abstract

We examined multiple mate choice criteria in Cophixalus ornatus, a terrestrial breeding, microhylid frog. Mate choice consisted of three stages: mate attraction (male calling), courtship (male behavior between the call site and the nest), and nest site selection by the female. For male C. ornatus, the possession of a call with low dominant frequency relative to calling neighbors increased the probability that they would attract females. Dominant frequency was negatively correlated with age independent of male mass and snout vent length. When escorting the female from the call site to their nest, males traveled along more convoluted paths than when returning to the nest alone. The convolution of the path was, therefore, considered an aspect of courtship. Females released eggs into nests with structural characteristics typical of nests constructed by older males. Thus, females increased their chances of locating an acceptable nest by preferentially approaching males with lower dominant frequencies. This study is the first to demonstrate that age, independent of mass or snout-vent length, can influence call characteristics in anurans, and it is also the first to demonstrate the importance of male age to female mate choice in an amphibian.

Item ID: 4177
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: age; microhylid frog; mate choice; nest; Cophixalus ornatus
ISSN: 1432-0762
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2009 07:23
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060308 Life Histories @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 21
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