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Dryad

Ranavirus infection-induced avoidance behavior in wood frog juveniles: Do amphibians socially distance?

Cite this dataset

Le Sage, Emily (2022). Ranavirus infection-induced avoidance behavior in wood frog juveniles: Do amphibians socially distance? [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8cz8w9gv4

Abstract

Hosts may limit exposure to pathogens through changes in behavior, such as avoiding infected individuals or contaminated areas. Here, we tested for a behavioral response to ranavirus infection in juvenile wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) because the majority of dispersal between populations occurs during this life stage. We hypothesized that if infections are transmissible and detectable at this life stage, then susceptibles would display avoidance behaviors when introduced to an infected conspecific. Despite no apparent signs of infection, we observed a greater distance between susceptible-infected pairs, compared to pairs of either two infected or two susceptible animals. Further, distances between susceptible-infected pairs were positively related to the infection intensity of the focal exposed frog, suggesting the cue to avoid infected conspecifics may become more detectable with more intense infections. Although we did not quantify whether transmission was affected by their distancing, our findings suggest that juvenile frogs have the potential to reduce terrestrial transmission of ranaviruses through avoidance behaviors.

Funding

Washington State University College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Summer Minigrant

WSU ADVANCE

EPA STAR fellowship, Award: 91767901