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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else seen this? Yesterday I had a male and female pumilio pair each carrying a tadpole. I have a pic showing both of them with tads, and a horriibly blury pic of male calling with tad. unfortunately its busy times and i wasn't able to watch them all day to see where or if the male deposited his, so wont be able to say for sure if his tad is raised. Just curious if anyone else has seen this? i thought i saw this once before with a pr of bastimentos, but that was a few years ago, and i have not seen it since.

Ill try to get some pics up before too long.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How often do you notice this Will, a lot of pumilio have been produced here over the past few years but i can only think of seeing this twice, admitted i dont pay that much attention to it. Wondering if the males have a little more invested in parental care.

btw the pr i mentioned was a pr of the green farmed pumilio.

thanks for your input.

mark
 
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Hey Mark,

I noticed it with the most recent clutch the pair had laid. This is the third group of tads that they have raised as far as I can tell (I've morphed out 2 rounds of froglets from this pair so far). I only noticed it for that one particular week, and only saw both frogs with tads twice over the course of 2 days. These are Red Bastimentos from the farm ranched imports. If I remember correctly they are from the first shipment that got cleared into Miami (might be the second). I havent seen this with any other pumilio that Ive observed breeding.
 
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Wow, that is very cool behavior to watch for. I have Sherpard Island green pums and have some eggs so I will watch both the male and female if/when I get good eggs from them to see if they both will deposit tads.
Mark W.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
hey Randy, of the tadpoles you saw the male carrying can you say for certain if any were raised successfully, and was there any other involvment from the male during development that you noticed. Interesting stuff.

thanks,
mark
 

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Hey Mark,
I can say for certain that I've seen several tads morph out successfully that were carried and deposited by male BriBri and Bastimentos pumilio. I can't say for sure whether or not the Shepard Island tads that were deposited by a male actually morphed out or not (they were deposited in a spot that I couldn't monitor very easily). Other than that, I've never seen any other parenting by male pumilio. I've heard that they call to females when the tads need to be fed, but I can't remember where I read this, nor can I vouch for its validity.
 
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Is it possible the Males raise the tads/frogs and the females roll is to search out food and provide quality egg clusters as required ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Zoso,
i wouldnt go so far to say that the males role is to raise the tads, as its definetely the female that feeds them, but whats interesting is that atleast in captivity we are seeing more male involvement than i for one was previously aware of, and it doesnt seem to be isolated incidents, and not that uncommon if other have witnessed the same behaviour over a variety of morphs. I wont make any wild speculations here, i just think its interesting.

Im wonder if Justin Y can provide some insite into wild pumilio males, i know from my time in cr i have seen many females transporting tads, (also must say that i took for granted they were females) and Im wondering if you have seen any males with tads, perhaps while you were playing around in panama, or if you like i did assume that the frogs with tads were females.

Fun stuff, and thanks for your input Randy btw

mark
 

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I personally haven't seen any of my males transporting tads, but have read that in many different species the males do transport and "show" the female where they deposit them. Have you seen them males making any indication to the females as to where they deposited the tads?

Pretty amazing behavior from such a "primitive" brain.
 

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MPepper said:
Anyone else seen this? Yesterday I had a male and female pumilio pair each carrying a tadpole. I have a pic showing both of them with tads, and a horriibly blury pic of male calling with tad. unfortunately its busy times and i wasn't able to watch them all day to see where or if the male deposited his, so wont be able to say for sure if his tad is raised. Just curious if anyone else has seen this? i thought i saw this once before with a pr of bastimentos, but that was a few years ago, and i have not seen it since.

Ill try to get some pics up before too long.

Mark
Mark, I thought this was some kind of crackpot post until I saw it was you sending it. This is wild stuff. I've never seen males carrying tads but I have witnessed that the male tends to wet the eggs until they get close to hatching and then the female takes over. Now I'm wondering if the female always does take over. The big question is how the heck does the female find tads to feed that have been deposited by males? It pretty much rules out a mental map. Possibly chemical cues but then the male would have to leave a different trail when transporting tads than when just bopping around wookin' pa nub. It certainly raises questions about how this system works.
 

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The big question is how the heck does the female find tads to feed that have been deposited by males? It pretty much rules out a mental map. Possibly chemical cues but then the male would have to leave a different trail when transporting tads than when just bopping around wookin' pa nub. It certainly raises questions about how this system works.
Brent,

Isn't this the same basic system as the thumbnails? Meaning, as far as I have seen males exclusively (or do they?) carry and deposit tadpoles. Females then come along and egg-feed thereafter if left alone. With imitator and lamasi I have had egg-fed tadpoles develop into froglets. Whenever I have observed egg-feeding by a female it has been after the male has been in the film canister or bromeliad with the tadpole calling his heart out. I have also observed this with pumilio, although not nearly as frequently.

I guess my point is that I don't know how the female knows where the deposited tads are, but could it have something to do with signals from the male? Take care,

-=Adam=-
 

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It does raise an interesting question as to how a female could know. One thing I have noticed in pumilio tads that I've artifically raised (with donor-pumilio eggs) is that when I open a tadpole's container to feed, the tadpole rigorously (and I do mean rigorously) swims in circles along the water's surface. They tend to do this for between 1-2 minutes, making constant "twitching" movements as they swim. Not at all a normal swimming behavior. Could the tadpoles be sending vibration signals to their female caretakers through the bromeliad leaves holding their water? Sounds like one heck of a research project. Robb, I know you've been doing some artificial rearing, have you noticed this spastic swimming behavior? I'll get a mpeg capture hopefully by this weekend so I can share this anomaly.
 

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The frantic swimming and twitching absolutely signals the female to deposit eggs. You see this in histo and pumilio tads and I would guess in other egg feeders. They do this when they are being reared "artificially" as well as when the female is doing the feeding. With tads being raised in cups as opposed to broms its a lot easier to see whats going on.

As far as how the female knows where male deposited tads are, the male will lead the female to the tad. He does this through a series of actions similar to mating, much in the same way he leads the female to a suitable egg laying site.
 

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rmelancon said:
The frantic swimming and twitching absolutely signals the female to deposit eggs. You see this in histo and pumilio tads and I would guess in other egg feeders. They do this when they are being reared "artificially" as well as when the female is doing the feeding. With tads being raised in cups as opposed to broms its a lot easier to see whats going on.

As far as how the female knows where male deposited tads are, the male will lead the female to the tad. He does this through a series of actions similar to mating, much in the same way he leads the female to a suitable egg laying site.
Yes, the tail thrashing has been mentioned in the literature and is almost certainly the cue that gets the female to deposit the eggs.

It's an interesting idea to think that the female may be led to tads by the male similar to how the facultative egg feeders do it through calling and mating ritual. However, yet another question arises from this. Are there duel mechanisms at work? We know that females deposit tads so they could develop their own mental map to find those deposition sites again. But if the male deposits tads, it requires a different mechanism. There is not a single mechanism that would draw females to both types of deposition sites since the male doesn't know where the female left tadpoles and vice versa. So are there two different mechanisms being used here? If so, do they both provide equal success rates? And why are there two mechanisms, why would it increase the overall reproductive success beyond just having one parent depositing all of the tads and one mechanism for leading the female back for egg deposition?

Is it any wonder why these are so many people's favorite frogs?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Interesting Ideas Brent,

It was a horrible day here in SW ontario, so i had a little time to frog watch. I was able to observe interactions between a female green pumilio with a tad, and a male without. The male was calling frequently while sitting on top of some leaves, he was "prancing" around in circles in the same spot on these leaves, very shortly later the female emerged from within these leaves with a tadpole. he called even more now. For a while there was what seemed normal interaction, calling here and there, female looking for food etc. About two hours later i came back and male was calling from a bromeliad funnel. i looked closer and could see the female submerged further down depositing the tad. Later in the day male is back in the same funnel calling away.

In this case it seems evident that male is aware of where the female is placing tads, so they perhaps share the same mental map, and the male perhaps will beckon her to feed as needed. Now the problems with the observations as i see it are they are from a tank with just one pr of frogs, by keeping just one pr of frog/tank we are ensuring monogomy. the observations taken at face value would seem to indicate the potential atleast for some sort of pr bond to forming, as it seems there is atleast some communication between male and femle during the development of the tadpole, as with faculative egg feeders. If this same "bond" were shared with wild prs, would this also ensure monogomy? An interesting question would be if these same behaviours would take place in a large viv. with oppurtunities for polygymy, would the male communicate with two females, with none? What does this say in general about breeding habits of these frogs, it seems that they (males) are more involved, but is this just due to raising them in prs in captivity. How does this play out in the wild? Will males have maps of locations from more than one female if polygymy is proacticed, or does polygmy alter this behaviour we are seeing atleast in prs in captivity.??

As for why there are two mechanisms, I can't say, or see how one would benefit over the other. In blue jeans pumilio i have only ever seen female transfer tads, and basically the male dissapears while she raises them. An occasional squak or two but basically I dont really see him till the female is ready to breed again, then the incessant calling starts, with these prs i can usually count on finding tads when i notice the male has stopped calling.

Im struggling to find a point here, i guess it would be is that maybe its possible for these different types of pumilio be heading down divergent paths?? or is keeping them in captivity altering there behaviour. Brent you are far more knowlegeable of behavioural ecology than i ever will be so i would love to hear more of you thoughts on this. And anyone else's for that matter.

Its fascinating that the most studied of all dendros still has some surprises to yeild.
 

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Mark,

My experience with blue jeans is the same as yours, no tad carrying or involvement by the male. But I should preface that with the fact that most froglets just "magically" appear with no observations of egg or tadpole care on my part so I can't really say what normally happens.

Something that comes to mind regarding the monogamy/polygamy issue is that perhaps the system is sloppy. Let's set kinship selection aside for the moment and just assume the tends to drive tad and egg deposition by enticing females to a site through calling and other behaviors and that this is what allows a female to discover tadpole she did not deposit. So the male is the one with the map. But lets also suppose they are hard wired for some very simple stimulus/response. A male sees a female and starts calling and enticing her to his chosen location. A female hears the calling and sexy dancing and follows her instincts. Maybe it doesn't matter whether the pair has ever met or not. The male is simply following an urge to entice a female and the female follows the urge to first follow a male and then to deposit an egg where she sees a thrashing tadpole. This type of sloppy system means the female may be feeding some other girl's tads which is why I say we need to set kinship selection aside for now. Although kinship selection is certainly not universally applied in nature, especially as brain capacity decreases. I have no problem thinking that kinship selection is not a strong player in these behaviors.

As for why different morphs or populations of pumilio may be playing this game on slightly different rules, that's a real puzzler. Perhaps it has something to do with differences in habitat but is worth mulling over. I have to run now but I hope this discussion continues.
 

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Brent,

I thought I remembered reading somewhere that females were able to recognize their own tadpoles (?).

Justin
 
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