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Loss of conspicuous coloration has co-evolved with decreased body size in populations of poison dart frogs
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Animal ecology.
2013 (English)In: Evolutionary Ecology, ISSN 0269-7653, E-ISSN 1573-8477, Vol. 27, no 4 SI, 755-767 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Larger signal size is known to facilitate the learning process of predators to warning signals. Further, smaller objects are generally harder to detect than large, which suggests that smaller sized prey are less likely to benefit from an aposematic strategy compared to crypsis. However, whether body size changes in concert with shifts between crypsis and aposematism in natural populations, remains largely unexplored. I tested whether body size was larger in visually conspicuous population than in cryptic populations among recently diverged populations of the Strawberry Poison frog, Oophaga pumilio. By analysing spectral reflectance and body size data from individuals from 18 discrete populations I found a larger mean body size in conspicuous populations, which was confirmed by an analysis of a subset of 12 populations accounting for phylogenetic history. This shows that the loss of conspicuous colour likely co-evolved repeatedly with a decrease in body size. Thus, selection on body size may influence evolutionary shifts between aposematism and crypsis and vice versa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 27, no 4 SI, 755-767 p.
Keyword [en]
Dendrobates pumilio, Warning signal, Crypsis, Population differentiation, Anura, Amphibia
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-204986DOI: 10.1007/s10682-013-9649-8ISI: 000321262800008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-204986DiVA: diva2:641333
Available from: 2013-08-16 Created: 2013-08-13 Last updated: 2013-08-16Bibliographically approved

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