Journal Article

The biparental care hypothesis for the evolution of monogamy: experimental evidence in an amphibian

James Tumulty, Victor Morales and Kyle Summers

in Behavioral Ecology

Published on behalf of International Society for Behavioral Ecology

Volume 25, issue 2, pages 262-270
Published in print January 2014 | ISSN: 1045-2249
Published online December 2013 | e-ISSN: 1465-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/art116
The biparental care hypothesis for the evolution of monogamy: experimental evidence in an amphibian

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Zoology and Animal Sciences

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Selection for biparental care is considered to be an important factor favoring the evolution of monogamy if the value of exclusive cooperation in care for mutual offspring outweighs the benefits of polygamy for either sex. Support for this hypothesis has come primarily through parent removal experiments in avian taxa. We tested this hypothesis in the first known example of a socially and genetically monogamous amphibian, the mimic poison frog (Ranitomeya imitator). Biparental care in R. imitator is characterized by egg attendance, tadpole transport, and feeding of tadpoles with unfertilized trophic eggs. Using a male removal experiment, we found lower tadpole growth and lower survival for widowed females compared with control families. We demonstrate that in addition to egg attendance and tadpole transport, male parental care is critical for offspring survival throughout larval development. Previous research has shown the importance of female trophic egg provisioning of tadpoles in R. imitator. This, coupled with the results of the present study demonstrating the adaptive value of male care, supports the hypothesis that selection for biparental care has driven the evolution of monogamy in an amphibian.

Keywords: amphibian; biparental care; Dendrobatidae; monogamy; parental investment; Ranitomeya imitator.

Journal Article.  7699 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology ; Ecology and Conservation ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.