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Data from: Distance-dependent defensive coloration in the poison frog Dendrobates tinctorius, Dendrobatidae

Citation

Barnett, James B.; Michalis, Constantine; Scott-Samuel, Nicholas E.; Cuthill, Innes C. (2019), Data from: Distance-dependent defensive coloration in the poison frog Dendrobates tinctorius, Dendrobatidae, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3kd4134

Abstract

Poison dart frogs provide classic examples of warning signals: potent toxins signaled by distinctive, conspicuous coloration. We show that, counterintuitively, the bright yellow and blue-black color of Dendrobates tinctorius (Dendrobatidae) also provides camouflage. Through computational modeling of predator vision, and a screen-based detection experiment presenting frogs at different spatial resolutions, we demonstrate that at close range the frog is highly detectable, but from a distance the colors blend together, forming effective camouflage. This result was corroborated with an in situ experiment, which found survival to be background-dependent, a feature more associated with camouflage than aposematism. Our results suggest that in D. tinctorius the distribution of pattern elements, and the particular colors expressed, act as a highly salient close range aposematic signal, while simultaneously minimizing detectability to distant observers.

Usage Notes

Location

French Guiana