|Evidence of animal personality in strawberry poison frogs|
|Carolina Esquivel1, Alvaro Vega Hidalgo1, Alejandro Garita1, Heike Pröhl2. 1Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Heredia, Costa Rica; 2Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany
A behavior is a labile trait that varies between individuals and contexts, correlations among behaviors arise because they conform functional units that need to operate coherently. For example, an aggressive individual is expected to be bolder and tolerate a predator approaching closer before escaping. Also, individuals are expected to behave consistently within the same context. These correlations and repeatability of behaviors are known as animal personalities or behavioral syndromes. We tested for evidence of such personality in 15 male Oophaga pumilio in 3 contexts: territoriality, escape from a predator, and exit to an open field. We found a strong correlation between aggressive calls and latency to exit to an open field with moderate repeatability in both cases, demonstrating that more aggressive individuals are bolder. In the study of personality, amphibians are the least understood group of vertebrates. Given that 41% of amphibian species are threatened and the principal actions for their protection are ex-situ conservation and reintroduction programs, the recognition of differences among personalities of individuals in these programs can directly impact their success.