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Vocalisation and larval transportation of male Colostethus subpunctatus (Anura: Dendrobatidae)

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We studied calling activity, tadpole transportation and deposition of Colostethus subpunctatus males in the high mountains of Colombia. Calling as well as tadpole transportation and deposition occurred during daylight and night hours. The reproductive activity was found to be well adjusted to rainfall pattern. Males began to call before the start of the rainy season, but tadpole transportation coincided with the first heavy rains when small puddles used for tadpole deposition remained filled. Reproductive activity ceased soon after the period of heavy rains. The number of tadpoles on the back of individual males encountered in the field was highly variable because tadpoles leave the male's back one after another and not all in the same puddle. Some possible functions of this behaviour are discussed. An understanding of the relationships between parental care patterns in the genus Colostethus may be achieved by considering their physiological and behavioural components.

Affiliations: 1: Universidad de los Andes, Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, A.A. 4976, Santafé de Bogotá, D.C. Colombia


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