Allery Treatment News

The Role Predator Selection On Polymorphic Aposematic Poison-frogs

June 20, 2017

Phenotypic variation between populations of the poison frog Dendrobates tinctorius is extremely high throughout their distribution in northern South America. As the bright colors are assumed to act as a warning signal to potential predators, the evolution of this variation within a species raises some interesting questions.

On pp. xxx-xxx B.P. Noonan & A.A. Comeault report results from an examination of predator selection and phenotypic variation within this species using more than 1200 clay models in the field. Their results demonstrate that predators avoid only model frogs similar to those in their immediate surroundings and frequently attack models representing novel phenotypes.

Though these novel forms truly do exist, local predators are unlikely to have encountered them and do not recognize them as dangerous (despite their bright warning coloration).

Royal Society Journal Biology Letters Biology Letters publishes short, innovative and cutting-edge research articles and opinion pieces accessible to scientists from across the biological sciences. The journal is characterised by stringent peer-review, rapid publication and broad dissemination of succinct high-quality research communications.

Biology Letters