Title

Triggers of Oviposition in Túngara Frogs

Poster Number

17

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Marcos Gridi-Papp

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Frogs tend to breed when the environmental conditions are favorable for the development of their offspring. Many studies have shown the effects of temperature and rainfall in the seasonal breeding behavior of frogs. At a more immediate time scale, several abiotic and biotic factors have been shown to influence the males' propensity to call, but little is known about the environmental factors that trigger oviposition in females. We carried out an experiment with a captive colony of túngara frogs to discover the relevance of water, male calls, and contact with males as triggers for female oviposition. We placed 12 female túngara frogs per trial into individual sound proof breeding chambers and exposed them to wet moss or water as substrate, having silence or male calls for acoustic stimulation for 48 hours. Each experiment was followed with 24 hours of exposure to male calls and a real male with a substrate of water. During the entire study, the remaining breeding females in the colony were housed with moss and males but no sound or water. Oviposition rates were 58% with a male and water, 18.52% with water and call, 16.2% with water only, 3.45% with moss and call, and 6.67% with moss only. Only two egg masses were dropped in the colony during the entire study, 1.67%. The importance of direct contact with the males might actually be smaller than than previously thought. While the majority of egg masses were laid with a male, the lack of oviposition in the rest of the colony and the occurrence of oviposition without a male in the individual soundproof chambers indicates that although the presence of a male is the strongest trigger there are other factors that can stimulate oviposition.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Start Date

30-4-2016 1:30 AM

End Date

30-4-2016 3:30 PM

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Apr 30th, 1:30 AM Apr 30th, 3:30 PM

Triggers of Oviposition in Túngara Frogs

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom

Frogs tend to breed when the environmental conditions are favorable for the development of their offspring. Many studies have shown the effects of temperature and rainfall in the seasonal breeding behavior of frogs. At a more immediate time scale, several abiotic and biotic factors have been shown to influence the males' propensity to call, but little is known about the environmental factors that trigger oviposition in females. We carried out an experiment with a captive colony of túngara frogs to discover the relevance of water, male calls, and contact with males as triggers for female oviposition. We placed 12 female túngara frogs per trial into individual sound proof breeding chambers and exposed them to wet moss or water as substrate, having silence or male calls for acoustic stimulation for 48 hours. Each experiment was followed with 24 hours of exposure to male calls and a real male with a substrate of water. During the entire study, the remaining breeding females in the colony were housed with moss and males but no sound or water. Oviposition rates were 58% with a male and water, 18.52% with water and call, 16.2% with water only, 3.45% with moss and call, and 6.67% with moss only. Only two egg masses were dropped in the colony during the entire study, 1.67%. The importance of direct contact with the males might actually be smaller than than previously thought. While the majority of egg masses were laid with a male, the lack of oviposition in the rest of the colony and the occurrence of oviposition without a male in the individual soundproof chambers indicates that although the presence of a male is the strongest trigger there are other factors that can stimulate oviposition.