Data from: Mating status correlates with dorsal brightness in some but not all poison frog populations
Dreher, Corinna E.; Rodríguez, Ariel; Cummings, Molly E.; Pröhl, Heike (2018), Data from: Mating status correlates with dorsal brightness in some but not all poison frog populations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.th160
Sexual signals are important for intraspecific communication and mate selection, but their evolution may be driven by both natural and sexual selection, and stochastic processes. Strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio) show strong color divergence among populations, but coloration also varies among individuals of the same population. The importance of coloration for female mate choice has been studied intensely, and sexual selection seems to affect color divergence in strawberry poison frogs. However, the effect of coloration on mating success under field conditions has received very little attention. Furthermore, few studies examined how phenotypic variation among individuals of the same color morph affects mate selection under natural conditions. We measured the spectral reflectance of courting and noncourting individuals and their background substrates in three geographically separated populations. In one population (Sarapiquí, Costa Rica), we found that naturally occurring courting pairs of males and females had significantly brighter dorsal coloration than individual males and females not engaged in courtship interactions. Our field observations suggest that, in the wild, females prefer brighter males while the reason for the higher courtship activity of brighter females remains unclear. Overall our results imply that brightness differences among individuals of the same color morph may actually affect reproductive success in some populations of strawberry poison frogs.