MATE-GUARDING BEHAVIOR IN ANURANS: INTRA-SEXUAL SELECTION AND THE EVOLUTION OF PROLONGED AMPLEXUS IN THE HARLEQUIN TOAD ATELOPUS LAETISSIMUS.
Mate guarding in anurans may consist of a prolonged amplexus or copulatory clasp by the male starting well prior to egg laying. In this study we combined field observations and experimental studies of the Santa Marta Harlequin Toad, Atelopus laetissimus, to elucidate whether the prolonged amplexus in A. laetissimus evolved as a mate-guarding strategy promoted by intense intra-sexual selection in males engaging in amplexus displacement attempts. First, we asked how the ability of a male to successfully defend its amplexus status against interlopers is related to body condition and 13 other morphological traits. Second, we tested whether the following characteristics were associated with mating success and mate guarding in A. laetissimus: clasp force, amplexus duration, and males’ reproductive effort.
Steps to reproduce
Field observation and experimental conditions