Tungara frogs, which normally live in the rainforests of part of Latin America, change their mating rituals when they are in urban settings, where males also become more attractive to females, according to a study.
In the latest issue of the journal Ecology and Evolution of Nature, a team from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) publishes its findings on the behavior of the male Troggara frogs living in ditches, puddles and drainage in the region. Panama City.
Just as the male peacocks use their showy tails to attract females, the tungarian frogs do the same by adding additional sounds to their mating calls.
They do not know, however, when they know there are predators like bats or parasitic flies, who use these frog love songs to locate their food.
Recording with remote control cameras
To conduct his research, the team led by Wouter Halfwerk, an assistant professor at the University of Vrije in Amsterdam and STRI's visiting scientist in Panama – dependent on the US Smithsonian – replicated requests for Tougat male frogs in 22 urban locations. and forestry.
Through remote control cameras with infrared sensors, they monitored and recorded the number of females approaching, as well as predators and parasites.
In the city, fewer women responded to calls, suggesting that men living in urban settings should try harder to attract them.
In a second experiment, the researchers recorded 100 males and found that males in the city make more complex and notorious calls than those in the forest.
To find out which male toads are most attractive, in a third experiment they placed 40 females to hear calls from males from the city and the forest, and three out of four preferred the first.
Finally, the researchers found that when urban men move into the forest, they immediately simplify their connections.
The same does not happen with males in the city's forests, as they do not make more complex calls immediately.
"Just as we change our social relationships in cities, animals are changing their relationships and behaviors in the radically altered biological communities we are creating around the world," concluded Rachel Page, STRI scientist and co-author of the study. EFE