Title

Honest Signaling in Aggressive Contests between Ozark Zigzag Salamanders (Plethodon angusticlavius)

Abstract

Communication of information concerning the sender's quality or intentions is essential for maintaining territories. Receivers that respond to dishonest signals that provide misleading information about quality or intent should therefore be selected against. Honest signals prevent cheating because they are constrained by factors such as the energetic costs of the signal. We tested the hypothesis that "All Trunk Raised" (ATR), a behavior that occurs in territorial contests in terrestrial salamanders, is an honest indicator of aggressive intent. In staged contests between pairs of Ozark Zigzag Salamanders (Plethodon angusticlavius), individuals that performed bites spent more time exhibiting ATR prior to biting than individuals that did not bite. In addition, we examined whether ATR is an energetically costly behavior. In metabolic trials, individuals that performed more ATR produced more CO2. These results support the hypothesis that ATR is an honest indicator of aggressive intent in this species.

Department(s)

Biology

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1643/ce-14-201

Publication Date

2016

Recommended Citation

Bortosky, Rachel, and Alicia Mathis. "Honest signaling in aggressive contests between Ozark zigzag salamanders (Plethodon angusticlavius)." Copeia 104, no. 1 (2016): 60-66.

Journal Title

Copeia

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