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Site fidelity and territoriality in the dendrobatid frog Dendrobates granuliferus

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Dendrobates granuliferus males were observed in order to see whether they use fixed calling sites and whether they show site tenacity, to estimate territory sizes, and to establish whether territoriality is elicited by acoustic or visual characteristics of competing males, or by a combination of these two. Territorial males had one to three calling sites during a three week observation period. Males were mostly found at their calling sites between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Both acoustic and visual stimuli were presented at various distances. Visual stimuli in the form of a mimicking clay model did not provoke reactions. In trials with acoustic stimuli, the distance at which reactions were observed ranged from 1 to 3 m. Reactions occurred at 3 m in half of these trials. Combining the results of this experiment with observations on territorial behaviour we conclude that territoriality increases towards calling sites. Vocalization combined with movement of D. gralluliferus-sized frogs seems to be the key factor for male recognition. Oviposition sites seem to be defended resources.

Affiliations: 1: DLO Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research (SC-DLO), P.O.Box 125, 6700 AC Wageningen, Netherlands; 2: Stichting Natuur en Milieu, Donkerstraat 17, 3511 KB Utrecht, Netherlands


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