Data for: Investigating signal modalities of aposematism in a poison frog
Cite this dataset
Stuckert, Adam (2022). Data for: Investigating signal modalities of aposematism in a poison frog [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4tmpg4fd9
Aposematic species combine a conspicuous signal with a secondary defense, the majority of which are studied in the context of a visual signal. While multimodality of the aposematic signal appears to be common in invertebrate species, we know very little about the presence or absence of multimodality in vertebrates. Here we examine the possibility of multimodality of aposematism in the green and black poison frog, Dendrobates auratus. Using a non-visual predator (the cat-eyed snake, Leptodeira annulata) and extractions of chemicals in frog skins, we test whether there is sufficient non-visual information for predators to avoid this aposematic species without using visual cues. We found that experienced predators avoid chemicals in this poison frog’s skin by olfactory cues alone in trials with live frogs and extracts from captive poison frogs, whereas extracts from wild poison frogs did not lead to avoidance behaviors in predators. Further, in our limited sampling, naïve predators demonstrate no avoidance. This not only indicates that predators can make informed decisions from the frog’s odor but also indicates that avoidance based on olfactory cue is a learned response.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Award: 2015-0920-2018