Event Title

Throat Color Variation in Male and Female Eastern Grey Treefrogs

Presenter Information

Emily Ruder

Mentor 1

Gerlinde Hoebel

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Sexual dimorphism in morphology or color is widespread in the animal kingdom, and this pattern is frequently accentuated during the mating season. Male frogs reaching sexual maturity generally develop a vocal sac, which is primarily involved in the mechanisms of call production. However, in many species the throat area is also pigmented and conspicuous, suggesting that the vocal sac might act as a visual signal as well. Using digital photography and image processing software, we examined vocal sac color in Eastern Gray Treefogs (Hyla versiolor). We collected mated pairs (i.e., sexually mature males and females) at the beginning and the middle of the breeding season, and measured the color as well as the spatial pattern of their throat pigmentation. We found that throat pigmentation is sexually dimorphic (males have darker throats), and that it increases over the course of the breeding season. These observations suggest that throat pigmentation has the potential to be a trait used in mate choice.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Throat Color Variation in Male and Female Eastern Grey Treefrogs

Union Wisconsin Room

Sexual dimorphism in morphology or color is widespread in the animal kingdom, and this pattern is frequently accentuated during the mating season. Male frogs reaching sexual maturity generally develop a vocal sac, which is primarily involved in the mechanisms of call production. However, in many species the throat area is also pigmented and conspicuous, suggesting that the vocal sac might act as a visual signal as well. Using digital photography and image processing software, we examined vocal sac color in Eastern Gray Treefogs (Hyla versiolor). We collected mated pairs (i.e., sexually mature males and females) at the beginning and the middle of the breeding season, and measured the color as well as the spatial pattern of their throat pigmentation. We found that throat pigmentation is sexually dimorphic (males have darker throats), and that it increases over the course of the breeding season. These observations suggest that throat pigmentation has the potential to be a trait used in mate choice.