Does a tadpole's disposition stick with it after morphing into a frog? - Dendroboard
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:00 PM
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Default Does a tadpole's disposition stick with it after morphing into a frog?

I have a gray tree frog tadpole that I've been calling the runt of the bunch. It's smaller, it's more docile than the others. It looks very healthy but I never see it eat or swim around. Always just sitting on the bottom. Now it's morphing and I'm wondering if its easy-going, bump-on-a-log "personality" is going to carry through after metamorphosis. I know most folks here don't have experience with gray tree frogs but I'd be interested in anecdotes about this for any kind of frog. TIA
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Does a tadpole's disposition stick with it after morphing into a frog?

My experience with "wild-type" animal individuals with atypically docile "personalities" is they often have other... quirks.

In other words, they tend to be the ones that get bullied and/or succumb to illness/issues.

It's not a hard rule, but something I'm pretty sure I've noticed. In nature, these doe eyed idiots would probably get eaten out of the gene pool in short order.
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Old 09-03-2020, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: Does a tadpole's disposition stick with it after morphing into a frog?

Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Does a tadpole's disposition stick with it after morphing into a frog?

Believe it or not, in the last decade or so, a whole field of research sprung up that deals with animal personalities. Personalities in this case are behavioral traits like aggressiveness, boldness, and sociability. Researchers measure a suite of these traits to see if they persist over time. If so, these are termed "behavioral syndromes" and there are at least a couple of studies that show that behavioral syndromes persist through metamorphosis. One study looked at pond frogs (Rana ridibunda) [1] and the other looked at spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) [2]. Interestingly, other studies have shown that an individual larva's personality can impact its health and survival, specifically with respect to parasite load [3].

That's the long way to say that, yes, a tadpole's personality sticks with it through metamorphosis.

References:
[1] Wilson, A. D. M., & Krause, J. (2012). Personality and metamorphosis: is behavioral variation consistent across ontogenetic niche shifts? Behavioral Ecology: Official Journal of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology, 23(6), 13161323.

[2] Koenig, A. M., & Ousterhout, B. H. (2018). Behavioral syndrome persists over metamorphosis in a pond-breeding amphibian. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 72(12), 184.

[3] Koprivnikar, J., Gibson, C. H., & Redfern, J. C. (2012). Infectious personalities: behavioural syndromes and disease risk in larval amphibians. Proceedings. Biological Sciences / The Royal Society, 279(1733), 15441550.
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