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    Abstract book talks Abstract book talks Document Transcript

    •                                    TALK ABSTRACTS – ABS 2013 – UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO  Improving conservation management of New Zealand’s rarest kiwi R Abbott, B Bell, N Nelson Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand To increase the effectiveness of restocking for conservation, it is necessary to identify elements of release protocols which affect post release survival, and modify procedures accordingly. Rowi are critically endangered flightless ratites which form monogamous, highly territorial pairs. Restocking of the sole remaining rowi population has been underway for over 16 years. We hypothesized that as a result of behavioral mechanisms induced by pre-release experience, individuals in larger groups may have higher survival rate than those in small release groups. We tested this experimentally by manipulating release group size over 3 years. Modelling reveals that of all variables tested, group size was the only factor with significant influence on post release survival. Survival of individuals in small groups was significantly lower than that of individuals released in large groups. Increased conspecific tolerance mediated by rearing conditions is proposed as an explanation for this. Our findings have informed conservation management leading to changes in release protocols, and triggered further research into long term effects of rearing conditions in conservation management. The future of the study of mechanisms of behavior and integration with ecology and evolution E Adkins-Regan Cornell U The past 50 years of research on mechanisms and development of animal behavior have produced many exciting discoveries. These mechanisms include physiology, for example, neuroendocrinology, and genetics/genomics, as well as behavioral and cognitive mechanisms. New developmental processes have been discovered, and a richer and more biologically realistic understanding of the roles of nature and nurture has been achieved. What does the future hold? Several promising themes will be explored, for example, epigenetics and evo-devo perspectives. For future promise to be realized, there needs to be a closer relationship between the conceptual frameworks of mechanisms and development with those of ecology and evolution. The research agenda outlined by Tinbergen in 1963 needs to be reflected in an updated and more integrated manner in the science of the 21st century. Vocal kin recognition in kin neighborhoods of western bluebirds C Akcay, RJ Swift, VA Reed, JL Dickinson Cornell University In most cooperatively breeding birds, individuals direct helping behavior to close relatives. Although the pattern of kin-directed helping is well established in birds, the mechanism of recognition is known in only a few cases. Here we report the first study that investigated the mechanism of kin recognition in western bluebirds (Sialia mexicana). Western bluebirds live in family groups in winter and show a high degree of male philopatry. Sons disperse locally forming kin neighborhoods and occasionally help at their parents’ or brothers’ nests. We presented western bluebirds with songs recorded from equidistant kin and nonkin living on other territories, conducting playback near their nests on two consecutive days. We found that male western bluebirds responded more aggressively to playback of nonkin song compared to kin song. These results suggest that vocal signatures serve as a kin recognition cue in western bluebirds. Worthless gifts: a male deceitful tactic to increase mating success in spiders MJ Albo, V Melo-González, MC Trillo, FG Costa Clemente Estable Biological Research Institute During courtship, males from the spider Paratrechalea ornata (Trechaleidae) offer to females fresh prey (genuine gifts), but also prey leftovers (worthless gifts). We examined gift content and it´s relation to male condition in nature; afterwards, we investigated how these factors affect male mating success. In the field, we calculated male body condition, gift weight, and classified gift content as “fresh” or “leftovers”. We found that 30% of the gifts were fresh prey while 70% were prey leftovers. Fresh gifts were heavier than leftover ones, and gift weight correlated positively with male condition. In the lab, we exposed females to males carrying a fly gift, a worthless gift and no gift, in two male feeding groups (good condition “GC”; poor condition “PC). Males offering gifts (fly and worthless) acquired highest mating success and longer matings compared to males without gift in GC group, but not in PC. Female preferences lead to strong selection acting on males to offer gifts (regardless it content) and increase their reproductive success. Prey availability and male condition facilitate evolution of worthless gifts, probably having
    • important consequences on female fitness Visual signal design in the Cercopithecini primates WL Allen, JP Higham New York University Most studies of animal visual signals focus on identifying functions rather than understanding signal form. Here we investigate the evolution of guenon (tribe: Cercopithecini) face patterning, a group of Old World monkeys that have evolved some of the most colorful and complex visual signals of all mammals. As guenons frequently form polyspecific associations, the putative function of their face markings is to promote species recognition and maintain reproductive isolation. We examined the hypothesis that face patterns have designs that are maximally visually distinct from those of other sympatric species by taking an image-processing approach to analyzing colorcalibrated images of guenons’ faces. Our analysis is based on the use of retinal and cortical models of visual processing to obtain a signal representation based on guenon perception. After examining the evolutionary history of face pattern diversification in the tribe, we investigate whether the signals of sympatric species are well partitioned in guenon face-space. We go on to discuss factors that may drive deviations from optimal partitioning, and investigate what determines the portion of face-space occupied by each species. Prototypical versions of swamp sparrow songs are more effective signals R Anderson, R Lachlan, S Nowicki Duke University In songbirds, developmental stress can reduce song learning accuracy. There is some evidence that receivers can use this aspect of song to assess male quality, yet it is unclear how receivers can judge how well songs were learned. Here we test the hypothesis that receivers assess learning accuracy by evaluating the degree to which songs are prototypical of population category norms. We used computational methods to cluster a large sample of swamp sparrow songs into types and to estimate the degree to which individual song exemplars were prototypical of these types. Playback of prototypical song exemplars evoked a stronger aggressive response from territorial males and more sexual displays from captive females than did playback of outlier exemplars, suggesting that prototypical songs function better in both male-male and male-female communication. Our results show that song prototypicality is salient to swamp sparrows and support the hypothesis that receivers can assess song learning accuracy by comparing individual songs to a generalized prototype for the population. Cannibals do it too? A social lens on solitary predators MCB Andrade U Toronto Scarborough With the exception of a few fascinating taxa, spiders do not usually come to mind when we think about the role of social interactions in evolution. This is not surprising since most spiders are solitary predators, many with a penchant for cannibalism. However, an awareness of social context can be critical to individual fitness throughout the life of solitary spiders, with current information or past experience affecting life history and behaviour. Direct social interactions are also necessary during key periods (early development, mating). This leads to interesting general questions about how an organism that is adapted for a solitary, predatory lifestyle acquires social information, and how behavioural tendencies shift to permit social interactions. I discuss how social information and interactions shape behavioural decisions and other phenotypic traits of black widows and other solitary spiders. An introduction to conservation behavior L Angeloni Colorado State U The disciplines of animal behavior and conservation biology are separate thriving fields of scientific inquiry, each with its own history and approach. Conservation biology was established in the 1980s, drawing from the biological and social sciences, as a mission-driven discipline to conserve biodiversity in the face of mounting anthropogenic impacts. Despite the potential for animal behavior to contribute theory, approaches, data, and expertise to this multidisciplinary endeavor, it was not fully integrated into the early development of conservation biology. In response to this disconnect between the two fields and persuasive arguments for the ways that animal behavior could inform biodiversity conservation, the new discipline of conservation behavior emerged in the mid-1990s. I will
    • provide a brief overview of the history of conservation behavior, reviewing early arguments in favor of its development, barriers that initially slowed its progress, and the literature that has since emerged. As highlighted in this symposium, the study of animal behavior has the potential to provide solutions to real world conservation challenges. Rattlesnake encounters alter vigilance behavior of California ground squirrels RE Ayon, RW Clark San Diego State University Upon discovering rattlesnake predators, California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) often display stereotyped antisnake responses consisting of elongated postures, close-range inspection, and communicative displays (e.g. tail-flags). After an encounter, ground squirrels appear to maintain a state of heightened vigilance in the area of the interaction, even if the snake is no longer visible. We used an experimental approach to examine how this heightened vigilance affects the subsequent antisnake responses of ground squirrels. Adult ground squirrels from the Diablo Mountain Range in San Jose, CA were shown plaster rattlesnake models and novel objects both before and after encountering live, tethered northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus oreganus) under field conditions. We found that interactions with live rattlesnakes significantly increased ground squirrel vigilance compared to snake models and novel objects. The response to both objects after rattlesnake encounters were only marginally different than the initial response to the live rattlesnake itself, and only squirrels with previous encounters exhibited significantly higher responses to these inanimate objects. Effects of early social environment on male gelada dispersal and reproductive strategies CL Barale, DI Rubenstein Princeton University Gelada males disperse as adolescents. Some males disperse before puberty and move from their natal one-male unit (OMU) to another OMU, while others disperse at or after puberty to a bachelor group. After dispersal, males take one of several routes to adulthood. A pre-puberty dispersing male can remain in an OMU as a subordinate follower male (early entry strategy) or disperse secondarily into a bachelor group (double dispersal). Bachelor males can take over an existing OMU (take-over strategy), enter an OMU as a follower (follower strategy), or enter first as a follower and challenge the existing leader from within the unit (usurper strategy). Why do adolescents opt for one strategy over another? What are the fitness consequences of that decision? Using social network analysis to examine the juvenile social environment, we uncovered social types that may be important in determining an adolescent’s dispersal and reproductive strategies. We also identify aspects of social context that shape individual social type differences. By fitting the pieces of this puzzle together, we can better understand how the early social environment impacts gelada dispersal and reproductive strategies. The function and evolution of hawkmoth anti-bat ultrasound JR Barber 1, AY Kawahara 2 (co-presenter) 1. Boise State University 2. University of Florida The shared evolutionary history between echolocating bats and nocturnal insects has resulted in a 60 million year arms race. Tiger moths have escalated the interaction by beaming ultrasonic response signals back at bats. These anti-bat sounds have been shown to warn bats of bad taste, function in acoustic mimicry complexes and jam bat biosonar. We will discuss our recent discovery that hawkmoths also produce ultrasound in response to bat attack. Unlike tiger moths, hawkmoths are not chemically defended, only males produce ultrasound and the structure of the sound-producing organ varies greatly across the family. This raises the prospect that anti-bat ultrasound production might be linked to multiple additional behavioral strategies, including cross-family acoustic mimicry, advertisement of physical defenses and/or evasive flight; and that hawkmoth ultrasonic reply to bat attack has multiple independent evolutionary origins. The Effect of Lateralization on Gentling and Training Mustangs P Barlow-Irick Mustang Camp Effects of lateralization in the training of horses was retrospectively examined in training records for sixty mustangs (Equus caballus) trained at Mustang Camp in New Mexico in 2012. Horses were categorized into preference groups on evidence that the horse showed stereotyped orientation, limited access to their un-preferred side, or
    • exhibited operant suppression when trainers were on their un-preferred side. Twenty-two (36%) showed a left preference, eight (13%) exhibited a right preference and twenty-seven (45%) had little or no preference. The number of days required to train each of 26 tasks were compared between preference groups. Median one-way chi-square approximations and post-hoc Tukey-Kramer procedures detected significant differences between the groups in 9 of the 26 tasks. The differences between tasks that challenged right-side horses but not left-side horses suggest that it may not reflect similar levels of fear but differences in types of responses. Understanding and mitigating lateralization may provide guidance for developing the protocols to most efficiently train mustangs. Quantifying coastal river otter associations and signaling dynamics with an Encounternet system A Barocas 1, HN Golden 2, M Ben-David 1 1. University of Wyoming, 2. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Obtaining detailed information on social structure of highly mobile aquatic carnivores is particularly challenging. Alaska Coastal river otters (Lontra Canadensis) present a plastic social system, using coastal latrine sites for communication. Previous research suggests that this social flexibility is driven by the availability of forage fish. However, detailed empirical data on association rates and signaling dynamics for this species are deficient. Here, we evaluate the effectiveness of an ‘Encounternet’ proximity system, using 8 mobile units and 10 static units deployed on latrine sites. Detections over 25 days enabled us to estimate the frequency and duration of encounters and latrine visits. The 5-meter reception range between mobile tags was suited for our system and resulted in detailed association data. Tagged otters had a large proportion of brief encounters, suggesting multiple fission and fusion events. From 236 Latrine visits recorded, the majority was of reduced duration (under 15 minutes). Repeated visits enabled us to quantify latrine connectivity using a network approach. We view this system as a promising research tool for both social flexibility and signaling dynamic Do androgens link morphology and behavior to produce morph-specific behavioral syndromes DG Barron 1, MS Webster 2, H Schwabl 1 1. Washington State University, 2. Cornell University Most species exhibit extensive variation in morphological, behavioral, and physiological traits. Researchers have established the covariation of morphological and behavioral traits and proposed their link arises from a shared physiological mechanism, with androgens emerging as prime candidates. In this study we investigated the hypothesis that androgen production simultaneously determines morphological and behavioral variation, thereby producing unique behavioral syndromes within breeding morphs of male red-backed fairy-wrens (Malurus melanocephalus). Although morphological development in this species is androgen-dependent, injection with GnRH failed to expose morph-specific constraints on androgen production. Observations of foray frequency, territoriality, and offspring feeding revealed morph-specific patterns of mating and parental effort, yet these were primarily driven by age and were independent of baseline or maximal androgen levels. While these findings support the idea that morphological and behavioral traits are linked via phenotypic correlations, they challenge the notion that behavioral differences arise from underlying variation in circulating androgen levels. Is mating with sub-adults coercive? Insights from female pheromone production in redback spiders L Baruffaldi, MCB Andrade University of Toronto Scarborough Monogynous male redback (Latrodectus hasselti) sometimes mate with sub-adult females by ripping through their exoskeleton to access the underlying, newly developed sperm storage organs. Sub-adult-mated females show none of the typical behaviours associated with mate choice, but moult and produce normal spiderlings at adulthood. Male L. hasselti are frequently cannibalized when they mate adults, and this may favour the sub-adultmating tactic. We ask whether this behaviour is maladaptive for females by examining patterns of sex pheromone production following sub-adult-matings. If sub-adult-mating is maladaptive because it circumvents female choice, we predict that, at adulthood, these females will produce sex pheromones to solicit additional matings from new males. This pattern of sex pheromone production would mirror that of virgin adult females. In contrast, if sub-adultmating is adaptive or neutral to females, they should not produce sex pheromones as adults. This would mirror adult-mated females, which cease pheromone production after mating. We test these hypotheses by comparing sex pheromone production of sub-adult-mated, adult-mated, and virgin adult females of L. hasselti.
    • Persistent effects of predation on a plastic mating bias in swordtails AL Basolo, AJ Melie Universiry of Nebraska-Lincoln In Poeciliid fishes, a preexisting receiver bias for a colorful, elongated caudal fin is phylogenetically widespread. Within the genus Xiphophorus, this mating bias has favored the evolution of a male sword structure and the evolution of longer swords. We tested whether the female sword response changes with predation environment by exposing females to three predator treatments (small predator, large predator, large predator consuming a male). The preference for a long sword weakened after experiencing a predator, suggesting that the sword bias shows predator-related plasticity. However, plasticity did not vary with the type of predation environment. We also asked whether there are lasting effects of predation on the preference. We found that the predation effect persisted to the next day, regardless of whether the memory was of a small, a large or a successful predator. These results indicate that predator exposure causes females to respond less strongly to long swords, regardless of the perceived degree of predation risk, and, that females retain a memory about predation risk that affects their response to swords the next day. The transcription factor doublesex (dsx) regulates reproductive behavior of a beetle OM Beckers, AP Moczek Indiana University Morphology (e.g. weaponry) and behavior (e.g. fighting) are frequently interwoven to form complex, interdependent phenotypes. The coordinated expression of morphology and behavior is therefore a crucial fitness determinant in many species. In the horned beetle, Onthophagus taurus, larval feeding conditions determine whether males develop into large, horned ‘major’ males that use horns as weapons in inter-male sexual competition or instead metamorphose into small, hornless ‘minor’ males that do not fight and instead sneak copulations. Previous work identified that the somatic sex-determination gene doublesex (dsx) plays a crucial role in the nutrition-dependent expression of alternative morphologies in males and the inhibition of horns in females. Here, we explore the role of dsx in the regulation of male and female reproductive behavior. Specifically, using a combination of RNAimediated dsx knockdown and behavioral assays we investigate dsx's function in the regulation of male and female aggression, fighting, and courtship. We find that dsx influences male and female reproductive behaviors in ways that only partly parallel its role in the regulation of morphological development. On the validity of a single (boldness) assay in personality research. C Beckmann 1, PA Biro 1 Deakin University A common method to assess behavioral types in personality research involves the use of a single emergence test, whereby a shorter latency to emerge from a holding container into a novel environment is inferred to represent greater ‘boldness’. Although any behavior may be context specific, studies using this single assay type must assume it reflects boldness in other similar contexts, otherwise it cannot reflect personality. We attempted to validate whether a single assay of this type is correlated with similar assays of boldness under more familiar, less stressful, situations. We compared single emergence test scores of two fish species in a novel environment, with two different behavioral assays of the same fish in subsequent repeated trials in home tanks. Although behavior was highly repeatable in home tanks, we found no correlation between emergence test scores in the novel environment and measures of latency to emerge from shelter following disturbance or activity levels in home tanks. Our results lead us to question the validity of using this single emergence test assay as a predictor of general boldness, and to question the use of any single assay of behavior in personality research Are sentinels safe and “selfish”? Surveying the evidence PA Bednekoff Eastern Michigan University Sentinel behavior is coordinated vigilance, usually from high, exposed positions. In theory sentinel behavior could be produced by each individual being safest when a sentinel, and also being safer as a forager when someone else is a sentinel. How well does this theoretical framework explain what we know about sentinel behavior? The theory posits that sentinels can detect attacks well enough to compensate for their exposure during attacks. Evidence shows that sentinels detect many attacks but during attacks, sentinels may be more or less exposed than predators. Thus sentinel behavior may be indeed based on safety. For simplicity, the modeling framework did
    • not include kin selection or mutual dependence. Recent evidence shows that sentinel behavior increases when vulnerable young are exposed. Thus sentinel behavior in part acts to protect others. Finally, certain groups, notably the babblers, seem far more prone to sentinel behavior than other groups. This suggests that some sorts of social behavior may predispose species to sentinel behavior. The current evidence suggests that sentinel behavior should not be viewed as either selfless or selfish, but rather as fundamentally social. Spatial release from masking in a temporal pattern discrimination task in Cope’s gray treefrog MA Bee, JL Ward, NP Buerkle University of Minnesota High background noise levels impair vocal perception in noisy social groups. In humans, "spatial release from masking" contributes to speech perception in such environments. We tested the hypothesis that spatial release from masking improves the ability of female gray treefrogs to discriminate between two alternating calls differing in pulse rate along a biologically relevant continuum between conspecific (50 pulses/s) and heterospecific (20 pulses/s) calls. Tests were replicated at two signal levels (85 dB and 82 dB SPL) and in three acoustic conditions: quiet, co-localized chorus-shaped noise, and spatially separated noise. In quiet conditions, females exhibited robust preferences for calls with relatively faster pulse rates more typical of conspecific calls. Behavioral discrimination between calls differing in pulse rate deteriorated significantly in the presence of co-localized noise. Spatial separation between signals and noise restored pulse rate discrimination behavior. Our results indicate that spatial release from energetic masking facilitates a biologically important temporal discrimination task in an animal with ears that function as pressure difference receivers. Support interventions serve a prosocial conflict management function in rhesus macaques BA Beisner, B McCowan University of California, Davis The extent and complexity of human prosocial behavior is unique, and its evolutionary roots can be traced by investigating similar behavior in nonhumans. Among nonhuman primates, prosocial policing is defined as impartial monitoring and attempted control of conflict by third parties. We evaluate the assumption of impartiality by investigating the potential for partial (support) interventions to function as policing. Using seven large captive groups of rhesus macaques, we investigated the relationship between intervention type and group-level costs and benefits (e.g. rates of trauma) and individual level costs and benefits (preferential sex-dyad targeting, access to mates, and return aggression). Results show that impartial interventions and support of subordinate non-kin represent prosocial policing as both (1) were negatively associated with group-level trauma and severe aggression, respectively, (2) showed no preferential targeting of same-sex competitors, (3) did not increase chances of mating with the beneficiary when performed outside the mating season, and (4) were low-cost for the highest-ranking interveners. We suggest expanding the definition of policing to include policing support. Small song repertoires and high song type sharing by canyon wrens at local and continental scales L Benedict , A Rose, N Warning University of Northern Colorado Avian song diversity can be assessed across multiple spatial scales. We examined local and range-wide patterns of song usage and song type sharing among canyon wrens using data from a focused study in Northern Colorado and data from recordings collected across Western North America. As in many wren species, female canyon wrens sing; however they do so infrequently and use only a single song type. Males typically sing five song types, all consisting of a descending cascade of notes to which they variably append broadband notes. Songs are delivered with eventual variety in bouts that include an average of 4.6 repetitions of one song type. In our study population song types were highly conserved and males shared an average of 93% of their nearest neighbors’ song types. Some song types appear to be geographically restricted, while others are sung by individuals distributed over 2000km apart. Local and range-wide stability of certain song types may reflect high copying fidelity during learning, and may be favored by ecological and life history traits including low-density territory distributions, a sedentary lifestyle, and long-term monogamy.
    • Ant colonies trade-off foraging intensity for defense: A risk-avoidance behavioral syndrome S Bengston, A Dornhaus University of Arizona Behavioral syndromes, such as bold/shy or aggressive/passive, appear relatively ubiquitous across the species of animals in which they have been studied. Still, other behavioral traits may be evolutionarily relevant but have not received as much attention. Few studies explore behavioral type of entire groups or consider how interactions within and between groups in a population may affect group phenotype. We explore a variety of behavioral traits (foraging, defensive response, activity level and aggression) using <i>Temnothorax</i> ants to determine whether whole colonies exhibit behavioral syndromes and how behavioral type might vary across populations. We found that colonies exhibit what may be called a risk-avoidance behavioral syndrome: colonies trade-off between foraging intensity and defensive response. Colonies that invest more in foraging behavior show a decreased response to the presence of non-nestmates. This syndrome may reflect differences in risk tolerance between colonies, providing an evolutionary explanation for why variation in colony level behavioral types may persist, namely as a result of different environmental conditions or innate resource holding potential of colonies. The evolution of problem-solving abilities in carnivores S Benson-Amram 1, 2, EM Swanson 2, 3, G Stricker 2, KE Holekamp 2 1. University of St. Andrews, 2. Michigan State University, 3. University of Minnesota The Social Intelligence Hypothesis (SIH) posits that intelligence evolved due to selection pressures associated with life in complex societies. If the SIH is correct, then many of the cognitive abilities observed in primates should also occur in non-primate mammals that live in primate-like societies. We examined technical intelligence and behavioral flexibility in captive carnivores by investigating their responses to a novel problem-solving task. We tested 152 individuals from 43 species across 9 families of carnivores. 46 individuals from 23 different species across 8 families successfully solved the problem. We then used a comparative approach to examine which ecological and social factors predict problem solving success as well as persistence and the diversity of exploratory behaviors individuals exhibited when interacting with the problem. The results of this study inform our understanding of the selective pressures leading to the evolution of intelligence in carnivores. Moreover, comparing our results to those from primates helps us better understand the selection pressures that have shaped the evolution of intelligence across mammals more generally. The effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba) S Bettoni, JS Gilchrist Edinburgh Napier University The howlers (Alouatta spp.) are notoriously difficult to keep or breed in captivity, which may be related to poor physical or psychological wellbeing in this environment. The enrichment of enclosures aims to provide captive animals with more appropriate conditions for the development of a normal behavioral repertoire, consequently improving welfare. This study investigated the effect of environmental enrichment on the abnormal, inactive and exploratory behavior, and on the use of area by eight brown howler monkeys (Alouatta guariba) housed at “Rancho dos Gnomos” Sanctuary (ASERG), São Paulo, Brazil in 2012.Quantitative behavioral data were collected by Group scan sampling and All occurrences method during Baseline, Enrichment and Post-enrichment periods on the individuals studied. During the enrichment phase the level of activity and the frequency of exploratory behavior increased while the occurrences of abnormal behavior decreased. Additionally the use of area by the individuals improved: use became more even, and more sections were utilized. These findings suggest that environmental enrichment elicits positive effects on the behaviour of captive Brown Howler monkeys. The Behavioral Ecology of Avian Mobbing Calls AC Billings University of Montana Information is a resource. Communication is one way to acquire information. Often information is acquired from others’ communication. This social information, often termed eavesdropping, is extremely useful and a lot more common than we think. The use of social information has recently shattered our traditional understanding of communication. We are now beginning to understand that communication exists in complex networks with many
    • senders and receivers spanning species and even taxa. And it is the signals that are accessible and relevant to all that are going to be the most interesting. These signals are the alarm calls, which are acoustic signals given in response to danger. An important type of alarm call is the mobbing call. In birds, mobbing calls are loud, broadband signals given to perched or stationary predators that bring others to the location of the predator to chase it from the area. Because mobbing calls rely on the social response of others to be successful, they are perfect to explore communication in networks. Therefore, my thesis research is focused on how mobbing calls are acoustically structured, designed and used socially in communication networks. Source-filter differences in courtship vocalizations in three brocket deer species (Mazama) P Black-Decima1, AM Nievas2, A Hurtado1, M Santana1 1 Univ Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina, 2 UNESP Jaboticabal, Brasil Neotropical deer species commonly produce short bleat-like vocalizations in courtship in males and in relations between mother and fawn in females. Our objective was to analyze acoustic and formant parameters of brocket deer vocalizations (genus Mazama) looking for consistent differences between species and individuals. Deer were recorded in captivity at 2 Reserves, in Tucuman, Argentina, and Jaboticabal, SP, Brazil. Recordings were analyzed with Praat. The 3 species studied differed significantly in the parameters of duration and fundamental frequency (F0): (M. americana 140±7.9ms, 321±24Hz; M. gouazoubira 85±26ms, 183±35Hz; M. nemorivaga 211±51ms, 218±32 Hz; Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Models). F0 was not related to body size among species. We calculated vocal tract length (VTL) from formant dispersion and found a correlation with body size. The largest species (M. americana) had a VTL of 18.09±0.42 cm, and the other 2 species had values of 15.04±0.24 cm (M. gouazoubira) and 14.5±0.2 cm (M. nemorivaga) respectively. These results suggest that species identification information is in the F0 and duration and body size in the formant dispersion. Role of sensory ecology in reducing animal-vehicle collisions BF Blackwell 1, TL DeVault 1, SL Lima 2, TW Seamans 1 1. USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center, 2. Indiana State U, Department of Biology Annually in the USA, well over 80 million bird fatalities occur as a result of automobile collisions and over 10,000 as a result of bird-aircraft collisions. In addition to animal mortality, animal-vehicle collisions (AVCs) can pose a substantial safety concern and financial burden to the public. Our purpose for this presentation is to discuss how behavioral theory can be applied to the development of tools and methods that will reduce the frequency of AVCs. We will center our presentation in the context of bird-aircraft collisions and discuss 1) whether antipredator behavior theory is applicable to understanding how birds react to approaching aircraft; 2) how sensory ecology can aid our understanding of animal detection and response to object approach; 3) opportunities for multidisciplinary approaches to the development of tools and methods that exploit antipredator behavior to reduce AVCs; and 4) progress to date in understanding how birds detect and respond to approaching aircraft. Finally, we will extend our discussion to the challenges of reducing AVCs in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Habituation and sensitization: new thoughts about old ideas DT Blumstein U of California Los Angeles People have written about habituation, a process that leads to declined responsiveness to a stimulus, as well as its doppelganger—sensitization—for over 2000 years. And, intensive research in the last century has led to well supported generalizations about mechanisms of habituation. However, we have not developed a ‘natural history’ of habituation which would help us predict, based on life history and natural history variation, how species will respond to humans and anthropogenic stimuli. The need for predictive models has never been greater. In this talk I will review generalizations about these learning processes and point out how a clear understanding of mechanism can be used to inform wildlife management and generate testable management interventions. I will also highlight unanswered questions about habituation and sensitization, and establish the groundwork for developing a natural history of habituation. For Whom the Bat Sings KM Bohn 1, M Smotherman 1. Florida International U, 2. Texas A&M U Research on birdsong has played a prominent role in our understanding of the ecology, evolution and
    • neurobiological basis of complex vocalizations. Since few other animals use such elaborate vocal signals, it is not known to what extent avian findings can be extrapolated to other organisms. The Brazilian free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis, is a mammal that sings like a bird, producing hierarchically structured songs that vary in phrase order from one rendition to the next. Such syntactical flexibility may be used to meet the demands of a highly dynamic social environment. We used playback experiments to determine what elicits bat songs and to test whether song syntax is associated with social context. Bats responded immediately to echolocation calls that mimicked a bat approaching the roost. Songs that were produced in response to echolocation playbacks differed in composition, duration and syntax than those produced spontaneously in the roost. While the cues for singing may be different, the different modes of song production and their dependence on social context is quite similar to songbirds, suggesting remarkable evolutionary convergence. The evolution of polygyny in the obligatorily eusocial domain JJ Boomsma 1, JS Pedersen 1, DB Huszár 1 1. Centre for Social Evolution, U of Copenhagen Obligate eusociality being derived from ancestral states of life-time monogamy implies that: 1. Facultatively eusocial lineages had to abandon multi-female nesting to achieve morphologically differentiated castes; 2. Lineages of obligatorily eusocial insects re-evolved multi-female nesting (polygyny) syndromes independently and to different degrees: common in ants but rare in the other lineages. As novel social traits appear to evolve only when they enhance the inclusive fitness of social interactants in proportion to their power, it is useful to explore the lineage-specific selection forces that have fostered polygyny or maintained monogyny in Hamiltonian terms of relatedness and costs/benefits of rearing offspring, siblings or more distant kin. High frequencies of polygyny in ants may be related to a combination of perennial life cycles, reduced disease pressure, and (in contrast to termites) sperm storage for life. Wynne-Edwards’ reference, quoted in Hamilton (1964), to ‘the widespread practice of attacking and persecuting strangers and relegating newcomers to the lowest social rank’, is helpful in conceptualizing the evolution of polygyny in obligatorily eusocial lineages. Expanding Social Intelligence to Panthera: problem solving, learning, and memory in lions (P. leo) N Borrego University of Miami The Social Intelligence Hypothesis (SIH) proposes the evolution of intelligence is driven by the challenges of navigating social landscapes; social animals derive benefits from cognitive abilities facilitating social challenges, and the resultant fitness advantage engenders an evolutionary link, whereby social complexity selectively favors cognitive complexity. According to SIH, intelligence convergently evolved in social taxa. My research tests this prediction by expanding SIH to a social felid, lions (Panthera leo). I used a puzzle-box task to investigate novel problem solving, learning, and memory in lions (n=12). Accordingly, lions demonstrated complex cognition and were adept at solving the task. My results support SIH and are the first formal investigation of cognition in lions. Furthermore, my results expand SIH to Panthera and provide a platform for disentangling the roles of social and environmental complexity in cognitive evolution. I am currently conducting puzzle-box experiments with asocial Panthera, and will compare my findings to the results of this study. These comparisons will provide a holistic understanding of the evolutionary mechanisms shaping intelligence. Using the olfactory incrementing nonmatch-to-sample task to assess episodic-like memory in rats C Branch 1, 2, K Bruce 2, M Galizio 2 1. University of Nevada, Reno, 2. University of North Carolina Wilmington Episodic memory has previously been thought of as unique to humans. Recently, research has demonstrated that nonhuman species can discriminate items based on what the item is, where it is located, and when it was encountered; referred to as episodic-like memory or what, where, when memory. One limitation of studying what, where, when memory is that it requires extensive training with discriminative conditions. Here, we assessed episodic-like memory by manipulating the olfactory incrementing nonmatch-to-sample (INMS) procedure. Four target scents were pseudo-randomly chosen and presented to the rat in a holding cage before the INMS task. Then, the rat was required to recall the target scents previously presented in the holding cage and respond to those as novel in the INMS testing arena. Our results indicate that rats were able to discriminate between the two contexts and respond to the target scents as novel when they were presented in the testing arena. Several controls were implemented to account for memory load, familiarity, and forgetting. One factor that may be mitigating their responses to the target stimuli in the testing arena is “time since smelled”.
    • Intercolony competition in naked mole-rats: evidence for kidnapping in a natural metapopulation S Braude 1, J Hess 2 1. Washington University in St. Louis, 2 Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Wild naked mole-rats are not inbred in either the drift, pedigree, or system of mating sense. Observations of intercolony aggression, invasion, and kidnapping in the laboratory, have pointed to intra-specific competition as a driving force for large colony size, but until now little was known about direct aggressive competition for resources among naked mole-rats in the wild. We report that wild colonies of naked mole-rats can expand their territories by invasions of neighboring colonies and, like captive colonies, invading colonies may kidnap unweaned pups which are later incorporated into the colony. Socially induced plasticity in penis morphology, and implications for genital evolution PLR Brennan 1, RO Prum 2 1. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2. Yale University Male genitalia are typically considered to show little variation among males, despite high variation between species. Socially induced phenotypic plasticity in response to male-male competition is known to occur in several male reproductive traits but it has not been demonstrated in genitalia. We examined whether male-male competition affects genital morphology and whether the response varies according to the history of post-copulatory competition present in several species of waterfowl. Across species, penis length is associated with levels of postcopulatory competition that result from forced copulation, but male genital morphology has also coevolved with female genitalia through sexual conflict. We found unprecedented genital plasticity in waterfowl, but the patterns differ among species. Different hypotheses of genital evolution do not explicitly consider how adaptive plasticity would affect their predictions, and we will discuss the implications of socially induced plasticity for our understanding of genital evolution. Plasticity of cerebral lateralization in the Trinidadian guppy ED Broder, LM Angeloni Colorado State University An animal’s fitness is impacted by its degree of cerebral asymmetry, or laterality, which is the partitioning of tasks to separate hemispheres of the brain. Geographic variation in this trait is likely determined by the balance between costs and benefits of laterality in a given environment. We investigated the relationship between evolutionary history and developmental plasticity in the Trinidadian guppy, a freshwater fish that experiences variable predation pressure. We compared laterality in pairs of closely related populations that experience either high or low levels of predation in the wild, and manipulated the perceived predation risk in the rearing environment. Fish reared with exposure to chemical predator cues were more lateralized that their brothers reared without predator cues. This plastic response is in the direction we would predict if lateralization is favored in environments with high predation risk. However, unlike findings in related species, we did not detect differences among populations, suggesting guppies are not locally adapted to the level of predation risk. Developmental plasticity is likely an important contributor to variation in cerebral laterality in guppies. Why do I care what you got? Cooperation and inequitable outcomes in the Primates SF Brosnan 1 1 Georgia State U Humans are not the only species to respond negatively to outcomes that are to their disadvantage. Emerging data support the hypothesis that an aversion to inequity is an evolved mechanism to promote successful cooperative relationships amongst non-kin in primates, and likely in non-primates as well. In experimental situations, cooperation survives modest inequity as long as the partner’s overall behavior is equitable. Comparative studies indicate a link between the degree and extent of cooperation between unrelated individuals in a species and that species’ response to inequitable outcomes, indicating that this behavior evolved in conjunction with cooperation and may represent an adaptation to increase the payoffs associated with cooperative interactions. Importantly, primates that show bi-parental care cooperate in experiments, but do not respond to inequity, possibly due to the unique costs and benefits associated with bi-parental care, which is rare in primates. Together these data inform a working hypothesis for understanding decision-making in the context of inequity and emphasize the importance of considering each species’ costs and benefits when evaluating their behavior.
    • Dolphin Speak: Reevaluating Tursiops Non-signature Whistles JN Bruck University of Chicago Through the study of signal prevalence and context, there is potential to form concrete assertions in animal communication that are useful for predicting behavior, understanding sociality and determining capacities for referential signaling. It is with this perspective that I examined context-based signal use and playback responses to the first documented complex repeated non-signature whistles identified in bottlenose dolphins. As a first step toward eventually determining how dolphins may represent their world through whistles, two distinct contours were determined to be repeated amongst six populations of animals under human care. These two contours were found to be related to feeding and arousal contexts and playbacks utilizing a habituation/discrimination design verified that the whistles were perceived as distinct by 33 subjects. Comparisons were also made to the playback responses of complex repeated non-signature whistles from unfamiliar animals and the responses to the signature whistles of unfamiliar animals, indicating that the dolphins perceive signature and non-signature whistles (both from unfamiliar animals) as distinct categories. These results have implications for meaning. Thermoregulatory Limits on Male Courtship Display in Wild Turkeys. R Buchholz University of Mississippi Comparative analyses suggest that the intense male-male competition seen in lek mating systems may have selected for increased male body size and sexual dimorphism. A physiological tradeoff of large body size, however, is a reduced ability to dissipate heat produced by metabolism during energetic courtship. Large males that overheat may be unable to continue to display, and as a consequence they may miss mating opportunities. Thus female preference for high display rate and high lek attendance may act to counter-balance intrasexual selection for large size. The remarkably sexual dimorphic wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) sometimes forms leklike assemblages, varies greatly in male mass, occurs across a broad climatic range, and suffers heat stress under hot conditions, making them an appropriate study system for understanding how thermal constraints may affect the evolution of sexual dimorphism. I collected display data from video-recordings of 16 males across two breeding seasons on an artificial captive lek to describe how smaller males may be able to use environmentally determined thermal windows of mating opportunities that are unavailable to larger males. Hunting in Noise: How Road and Gas Compressor Noise Affect the Foraging Efficiency of a Gleaning Bat J Bunkley, J Barber Boise State University Anthropogenic noise is increasing in intensity and scope as a result of the growing human population. Noise is considered a pollutant by the EPA and affects all ecosystems. Many organisms are negatively affected by noise, yet mitigation efforts are rarely established. We predict that acoustic predators are particularly susceptible to a louder world. Gleaning bats use passive listening to locate low frequency, prey-produced sounds when foraging. In the lab we investigated the impacts of both road and gas compressor station noise on the foraging search time of the gleaning bat, Antrozous pallidus. Here we report that bats take significantly longer to locate prey when exposed to noise. This reduction of foraging efficiency could impact survival and reproductive success. We are translating this investigation to the landscape scale by assessing the impacts of gas compressor noise on a bat assemblage using passive acoustic monitoring. We plan to present preliminary results from this work. Research exploring the effects of noise on acoustically-specialized species is integral to the development of mitigation efforts for this unique pollutant. Behavioral Differences between Feral and Domestic Guppies MJ Cabrera-Álvarez 1,2, WT Swaney 1,2, SM Reader 1,2. 1. McGill University, 2. Utrecht University Evolutionary changes in social and anti-predator behavior have been widely studied in wild Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Guppies are resilient colorful tropical fish that are common aquaria pets, where they have undergone extensive domestication and artificial selection for exaggerated color and fins. We compared domestic guppies with feral guppies that were introduced twenty years ago to a “wild-like” habitat where they experienced high rates of predation by birds. We found that feral guppies shoaled more than domestic guppies both before and after exposure to a predator. However, both strains did not differ significantly in other behavioral dimensions such
    • as response to alarm substance or predator inspection. These results suggest either that shoaling is the most labile behavior we tested or that it is a particularly effective anti-predator adaptation. These data reaffirm the influence of predation on shoaling and suggest that domestic guppies retain the potential for behavioral adaptation, helping to explain their success as an invasive species. Finally, our results indicate that anti-predator behaviors may be decoupled from one another, rather than covarying together. With a little help from my friends: museum collections, animal behaviorists and systematists united DS Caetano 1, A Aisenberg 2 1 University of Idaho, 2 Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable Museum collections are the main source for species identification and biodiversity studies, traditionally providing taxonomical, morphological, and geographical data. However, data that can only be gathered in the moment of the specimen collection are usually not recorded in scientific collections, publications, nor made available in databases. Therefore, little is known about biology or ecology of an impressive proportion of species. To illustrate the importance of sharing information among disciplines, we performed a survey for researchers working in areas related to ecology, animal behavior and systematics. The majority agree that natural history information stored in collections would be a valuable source of data and were willing to share their unpublished data in databases. There is an impressive amount of data that can be recorded only by encountering living specimens in the field. Expanding the scope of information stored in databases linked to museum collections may amplify their impact in research and assure their presence in management and financial priorities. Making data stored in databases citable would be an important incentive to promote flow of data among disciplines. Does reciprocity explain food sharing in vampire bats? G Carter, G Wilkinson University of Maryland Common vampire bats regurgitate food to roost-mates that fail to feed. The original explanation for this behaviour invoked both direct and indirect fitness benefits. Alternatively however, non-kin sharing may have resulted from harassment, familiarity-based kin discrimination, or kin recognition errors. To examine these alternatives, we tested predictors of food-sharing decisions with 35 vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) individually fasted under controlled conditions of mixed relatedness and equal familiarity. Inconsistent with harassment, donors initiate food sharing more often than recipients. The food sharing network was female-biased, reciprocal, consistent, and correlated with mutual allogrooming. Reciprocal help was the best predictor of food given, and more predictive than relatedness. In a few related and reciprocating pairs, donors passed food to partners trapped behind a mesh barrier. Finally, a positive interaction showed that the symmetry of sharing increased with partner relatedness. Together with past work, these findings suggest that positive interactions between direct and indirect benefits promote food sharing in vampire bats. Future work will test responses to cheating. Behavioral syndromes in the blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina, Emberezidae) held in captivity LB Castilhom, RHF Macedo Universidade de Brasília The number of studies focusing on animal personality has increased in recent years. To date, however, only species from temperate regions have been investigated in relation to the presence and type of personalities and syndromes. This study investigated such trends in the blue-black grassquit, a Neotropical passerine, with the objective of assessing whether tropical species may be under different evolutionary and ecological pressures, which could change the outcome in the shaping of personalities. Birds were tested for individual differences in feeding and environmental exploration rate. There was no evidence for different personalities in feeding rate among birds, but there was strong substantiation of personality in exploration. There was also a feeding/exploration syndrome, in which birds that fed more also were more exploratory. Although not explicitly tested, it is possible that this species follows the performance model, in which animals with a higher metabolic rate present a higher level of expensive behaviors (e.g. environment exploration) and also feed more. Migratory Behavior of Captive Blue-winged Teals (Anas discors) JL Caton, JC Owen Michigan State University Migratory disposition (i.e., migratory activity [Zugunruhe] and hyperphagia) can be experimentally induced in
    • captive birds. Most research on migratory restlessness has been conducted on landbirds with few studies on waterfowl migratory behavior. We hypothesized that captive Blue-winged Teals would exhibit migratory restlessness during fall and spring migration (focusing on spring here). Employing video surveillance cameras, infrared motion sensors, and audio recorders, we investigated whether teals would 1) enter migratory disposition, as shown by mass gain, 2) demonstrate migratory restlessness in captivity, and 3) exhibit quantifiable behavior. We found that teals, when photoadvanced, exhibit behavior consistent with migratory disposition, including hyperphagia and increased nighttime activity. Based on initial analysis of video recordings, the nighttime activity is consistent with Zugunruhe with increased flight and restless flapping shown. This is the first study to successfully demonstrate that under controlled conditions waterfowl exhibit migratory disposition and restlessness. Future analysis includes correlating video footage with motion sensors and audio recordings. A dose for the drinker is enough: the alcohol benefits for associative learning in zebrafish DMM Chacon, MM Silveira, LC Santos, AC Luchiari University of Rio Grande do Norte This study aimed to test the addictive potential of alcohol doses and the effects on conditioned learning in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. Three treatments were conducted: acute, chronical and withdrawal, using 0.1%, 0.25% 1.0% alcohol and control (0%). For addiction test, place preference was observed in a shuttle box tank before and after alcohol exposure. We observed a change in the initial preference due to the association with alcohol only at 0.25 and 1.0% doses in both acute and chronical offering, indicating an alcohol-seeking behaviour after exposition to the drug, characteristic of addiction. For the conditioning task, fish received light stimulus followed by food in a pre-defined area of the tank for 8 consecutive days. The low dose group (0.1%) learned the task at day 3 both for chronical and withdrawal, but withdraw animals improved learning at the end of the test. The other doses (0.25 and 1.0%) caused learning impairment in chronical treatment, but at withdrawal fish learned on the last 2 days of test. Thus, high doses cause learning impairment and addiction, even after drug cessation, while low doses positively affect learning and do not cause addiction. Who are the “lazy” ants? Describing behavior and social interactions of highly inactive workers D Charbonneau, A Dornhaus University of Arizona Contrary to what most people think, high levels of inactivity are common in most animals. This is also true in archetypal hard workers: social insects. Although little is known about this important behavior, we show that individual ants differ consistently in their level of inactivity, and that inactivity levels observed in the lab are comparable to those observed in the field, and thus not an artifact. However, we still know very little about the adaptive function of individual-level inactivity. Here we characterize highly inactive workers and contrast them to highly active workers. We use behavioral observations and spatial tracking to investigate common behaviors of highly inactive workers, but also look at trends in individual variation throughout the colony. Our results show that highly inactive workers spend a disproportionate amount of their active time on brood care and grooming compared to active workers, and tend be further away from other workers than active ants are. This shows that inactive workers do not conform to standard models of division of labor and spatial fidelity, suggesting that inactivity is a behavior in its own right that should be integrated with these models. Individual behavioral variation in juvenile rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss A Chin-Baarstad 1, F Thrower 2, KM Nichols 1,3 1 Purdue University, 2 NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center, 3 NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center With the inherently different ecological challenges of the wide range life histories exhibited by salmonid fishes, it may be expected that there will be some underlying behavioral differences. In this study we assessed individual variation for aggression, dispersal, and exploration in fish from a population of Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow and steelhead trout) from southeast Alaska. Behaviors were quantified in laboratory experiments using juvenile progeny produced from crosses within and between adults from the two life history types (migratory or resident). Each individual was tested across time for all behaviors, giving a measure of individual consistency and repeatability over four trials. These measures were used to evaluate correlations among the behaviors within individuals, as well to test whether significant differences existed among cross types. Any differences in behavior between cross types or families would reflect underlying genetic variation and the repeatability gives an upper bound estimate of heritability. The results from these behavioral trials will be used to later evaluate the correlation between behavioral differences and gene expression in the brain.
    • A robotic ant to probe route learning during tandem recruitment by ants JY Cho 1, T Morshed 1, Q Lindsey 2, MS Sakar 2, E Steager 2, V Kumar 2, SC Pratt 1 1. Arizona State Universtiy 2. University of Pennsylvania Ants use recruitment to direct nestmates to valuable resources. Some methods, such as pheromone trails, offer a persistent guide that allows recruits to journey repeatedly between nest and resource. In tandem recruitment, however, a recruit is led directly to the target by an experienced ant, but must navigate by herself on later journeys. We tested the hypothesis that tandem recruits learn a route as they follow their leader. Consistent with this idea, former tandem followers preferred routes that resembled the path they had been led on. However, these spontaneous tandem runs cannot separate the effects of leadership from environmental cues that might make certain routes more attractive. To gain greater experimental control, we built an artificial tandem leader consisting of a pheromone-marked dummy guided by a magnetically tethered robot. The robot was programmed to lead ants on one of two divergent routes. If followers learn the route, we predict that they will later choose paths resembling the path on which they were led. These data will allow a more revealing test of route learning, as well as validating a powerful new tool for the study of ant recruitment. Using computer animations to explore social learning in fish L Chouinard-Thuly 1,2, MM Webster 2, KN Laland 2 1. McGill University, 2. University of St Andrews Environments change rapidly and knowledge about resources quickly becomes obsolete. For animals vulnerable to predation like ninespine sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius), individual sampling of resources such as food patches might expose them to high costs. Alternatively, these fish can accurately learn relative profitability of food patches based on behavioral cues produced by other individuals as they exploit them, thus socially learning through public information. It is however unclear which behavior is observed. Previous work has shown that groups of fish feeding from a rich food patch display more feeding strikes, a higher activity rate, greater cohesion, a lower position in the water column, and remain closer to the feeder compared to groups feeding at a poor patch. To determine which behavior is used, we created and presented computer-animated sticklebacks performing behaviors associated with feeding at either a rich or poor food patch to an observer fish. Subsequent choice tests showed that of the behaviors presented, the striking action was the most important for fish to assess patch richness. This is the first demonstration of social learning from 3D animations in fish. Comparative Analysis of Female Color Preferences in Darters (Genus Etheostoma) PJ Ciccotto, TC Mendelson University of Maryland, Baltimore County Variation in male ornamentation in the form of elaborate nuptial coloration is commonly observed across closelyrelated animal lineages. Colorful ornaments may be used as signals to attract females, and thus female preferences for color may play a critical role in the evolution of these elaborate male traits. Darters (genus Etheostoma) are a group of sexually dichromatic freshwater fishes in which male nuptial coloration varies across lineages. We examined female color preferences in multiple species that vary in the presence of two main darter color classes: red/orange and green/blue. Our objective was to determine if female color preferences are predictably associated with male nuptial color. Females were presented with a series of motorized models that were colored red, blue, black, or grey, and association preferences with these different stimuli were measured. Across eight species examined, females exhibited significant preferences for particular colors, and preferred colors varied across species. Results are discussed with respect to male phenotypes and phylogenetic relationships to address the role of female preferences in the evolution of colorful male ornaments. Conspecific Recognition Differs Among Species of Galápagos Lava Lizards:Evidence From Lizard Robots DL Clark 1, JM Macedonia 2, JW Rowe 1 1. Alma College, 2. Florida Southern College Male Galápagos lava lizards exhibit substantial pattern diversity in pushup advertisement displays. Each species is allopatric and is thought to have evolved in isolation. As display diversity likely arose due to genetic drift, discrimination of conspecific from heterospecific displays is anticipated to be relaxed. We used a robotic lizard to test whether two species of lava lizards, the cryptically-colored Microlophus grayii and brightly-colored M. indefatigabilis, discriminate conspecific from heterospecific pushup displays. For experimental treatments we used a robot with conspecific body coloration that performed a conspecific or heterospecific pushup display. We
    • presented robots to 94 adult males (M. grayii: N = 40, and M. indefatigabilis: N = 54) and analyzed their responses for pushup display latency and duration, and as standardized scores of aggression. Results for M. grayii revealed no evidence of species discrimination of displays. In contrast, M. indefatigablis exhibited significantly stronger responses to the conspecific pushup display. We offer several potential explanations for the striking differences in social signal recognition between our two study species. Consequences of ground squirrel signaling at multiple stages of rattlesnake foraging RW Clark1, MA Barbour1,2, BJ Putman1 1. San Diego State Univeristy, 2. University of British Columbia Many species approach and signal toward their predators. These behaviors are often interpreted as predatordeterrent signals that indicate to predators that the prey is aware of its presence and is likely to escape if pursued. However, field evidence for predator-deterrent signals is scant, and the mechanisms maintaining predator responses are often unexplored. We examined the effects of a putative predator-deterrent signal, the tail-fag display, given by California ground squirrels toward northern Pacific rattlesnakes by recording responses of freeranging rattlesnakes to squirrel displays. We found that squirrel tail-flags deter snake predation on two different time scales. At the time of the interaction, snakes were more likely to attempt to strike squirrels that did not tail flag than those that did. This may be because tail flagging is reliably associated with squirrel vigilance and readiness to dodge a snake strike. Tail flagging by adult squirrels also increased the probability that snakes would subsequently abandon their ambush site. Our results highlight how the context in which predators encounter prey has an important influence on their responses to prey signals. Dealing with the Noisy Neighbors: Flying-fox Communication in Urban Areas JA Clarke, T Pearson Macquarie University Urban survivors is a term applied to wild species inhabiting urban areas and successfully coping with anthropogenic pollution, including urban noise. Grey-headed flying-foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) are highly vocal mammals inhabiting urban and rural areas in NSW, Australia. Understanding the strategies used by this urban species to communicate in spite of anthropogenic noise may reveal why other species are unsuccessful. We investigated if, similar to songbirds, flying-foxes in urban areas would use vocalizations with acoustic structures that differ from flying-foxes inhabiting rural areas. We recorded flying-foxes in five urban and rural camps over 12wks. Analysis of soundscapes and individual vocalizations revealed no differences in dominant frequencies, syllable rates or amplitude. Only when anthropogenic noise exceeded 66dBA – from low aircraft overflights in urban camps – were the flying-foxes affected. In these cases, the animals ceased vocalizing until the aircraft noise had abated. SPL of the camps is 55-57dBA from the flying-foxes’ calls, in short, these are extremely loud animals. Thus, they are urban survivors partly because they are as noisy as their human neighbors. A cross-continental look at the connections between humans and birds in urban areas B Clucas 1, S Rabotyagov 2, JM Marzluff 2 1. Humboldt State University, 2. University of Washington As humans become increasingly urban the need for conservation of nature in cities increases and requires an understanding of a diversity of human-wildlife interactions. We examine the connections between humans and birds in two urban areas (Berlin, Germany and Seattle, WA) from both socio-economical and ecological perspectives. We assess the economic value humans place on interactions with native songbirds by combining a revealed preference (expenditures on bird food) and a stated preference approach (willingness to pay to for bird conservation). We then compare how human behavior influences the abundance and species richness of birds. Residents in both cities spend a relatively large amount of money annually on bird food and engage in many birdattracting activities, but are generally less willing to pay for bird conservation. In turn, participation in bird attracting activities by humans appears to be related to increased species diversity and abundances of certain bird species. Understanding the likely positive reciprocal relationship created by the mutual benefits of human-avian interactions will be important for wildlife conservation in urban areas.
    • Sibling egg cannibalism by neonates of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Karyn Collie 1,2 1. The Graduate Center CUNY, 2. Queens College CUNY Cannibalism provides benefits to young individuals, but pre-dispersive juveniles may cannibalize kin. Neonates of the Colorado potato beetle often consume eggs in their natal clutch, a mix of full and half siblings. The fitness benefits neonates gain by cannibalism were studied to determine whether these benefits outweigh inclusive fitness costs. Neonates were tested for their ability to discriminate between eggs based on relatedness, whether they preferentially consume inviable eggs, and whether egg development is a cue. Female mediation of cannibalism was examined by measuring the oviposition behavior of females provided different quality plants. The cannibalism rates in populations with differences in competition were also compared. Sibling cannibalism increases growth rates and decreases development time, compensating for the costs of eating a half sibling. Neonates discriminate eggs from other populations but not within their own population, prefer eating inviable eggs, but do not use egg development as a cue. Females on low-quality plants can increase the number of inviable eggs available to hatchlings. Cannibalism is highest in populations with higher competition. Social context influences the initiation and threshold of thermoregulatory behaviour in honey bees CN Cook, MD Breed University of Colorado, Boulder Interactions between individuals in a society are the basis of effective task allocation. This task allocation plays a critical role in the ecological efficiency of social insect societies. In this study we test whether social context, specifically the number of workers present, affects thermoregulatory task performance in honeybees, Apis mellifera. When faced with increasing hive temperatures, a subset of honey bee workers gather to cool the hive by fanning at the entrance. We present here that worker bees assayed singly are significantly less likely to initiate fanning behavior in response to elevated temperature than bees assayed in small groups of three or ten workers. Bees assayed in groups also exhibit lower response thresholds than those assayed alone. The likelihood for fanning behavior varies significantly among behavioural castes, while thermal response thresholds do not. These results suggest that worker task performance depends on the presence of other workers, and offer another method by which division of labor in societies is organized. Summertime and the living is not easy: dancing bees demonstrate seasonal gaps in food availability MJ Couvillon, R Schürch, FLW Ratnieks University of Sussex Although insect pollinated crops are an increasing proportion of our diet, pollinating insects, including honey bees (Apis mellifera), continue to decline in North America and Europe. Honey bees face many challenges including pests, pathogens, and pesticides. However, independent of these is another issue affecting wildlife in general: landscape changes in the last century, such as agricultural intensification, have reduced flowers and flower-rich habitats that provide nectar and pollen insects. We investigated honey bee foraging ecology seasonality by “eavesdropping” on 5097 waggle dances over two years to show that mean foraging distance and area are significantly greater in summers (July & August, 2156m, 15.2km2) than springs (March & April, 493m, 0.8km2) or autumns (September & October, 1275m, 5.1km2). As bees do not forage at long distances unnecessarily, this indicates summer is a challenging season to find food. Additionally, the summer nectar quality, only 25.5% sugar, is low. Our results demonstrate that listening to bees can provide information relevant to helping them, and, in particular, can identify when additional forage would be valuable. Inclusive fitness theory for religious cognition and behavior Bernard J. Crespi Simon Fraser U W. D. Hamilton believed that progress in science is facilitated by novel, often controversial ideas. In this spirit, I present and defend a new hypothesis for the evolution of human religious thought and behavior that is based on inclusive fitness theory. The hypothesis centers on central, integrated roles for animism, ancestor worship, filial piety, healthy positive schizotypy and belief in the supernatural, isomorphisms between kinship systems and religious systems in the service of kin and God, maternal moral inculcation coupled with child overimitation, and the oxytocin-dopamine bonding and reward system mediating both kinship interactions and religious experience. I evaluate the hypothesis using data from the literature on anthropology, history, endocrinology, animal behavior,
    • psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, and data from my laboratory on the genetic bases of the autism spectrum and the psychotic-affective spectrum of psychological and personality variation in non-clinical populations. Testing assumptions of the evolution of host defenses against brood parasites in American robins R Croston1, ME Hauber2 1.The Graduate Center, CUNY, 2. Hunter College, CUNY Hosts of the brood parasitic brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) challenge coevolutionary theory because most accept parasitic eggs despite the costs of rearing unrelated young. American robins (Turdus migratorius) are one of few cowbird host species to eject parasitic eggs. We have shown that robins respond specifically to parasitism by cowbirds, despite an apparent lack of sensory tuning toward detection of cowbird eggs. This implies selection on robins for defenses against cowbird parasitism. We tested critical assumptions for the evolution of such defenses, that cowbird parasitism 1) imposes recoverable costs on robins, and 2) produces individuals showing consistent responses to parasitism. We manipulated clutch contents of robin nests to evaluate proportional brood loss of robins reared with cowbirds. We found no such cost at the nestling stage, as host chick survivorship did not decrease when raised with cowbirds versus robins. We also modeled repeatability of egg ejection across multiple experimental parasitism events in the same clutch. We found that rejection is highly repeatable, irrespective of timing or clutch size, confirming the assumption (2) in this system. Exploring the complex relationship between tenure and reproductive success among male spotted hyenas L Curren 1,2 1. U of New Hampshire, 2. Michigan State U In most cases of endurance rivalry, males compete to remain reproductively active longer than other males, but these time periods are typically brief, such as a single breeding season. Here, I explored endurance rivalry among males in a species that breeds year-round, the spotted hyena (<i>Crocuta crocuta</i>). Most males were present in the clan for over two years before siring their first cub, and most sired their first cub in their first four years or did not sire one at all. Next, I found evidence suggesting that males might incorporate their initial reproductive success (RS) into their decision regarding whether to stay in the clan or secondarily disperse. Finally, male RS increased during the first six years of tenure, then decreased, indicating that tenure may not be the sole determinant of male RS. To this end, I found a positive correlation between a male’s annual RS and his associations with females, although there was no effect of his rate of aggressive interactions with these females. These results support the notion that male spotted hyenas compete via an endurance rivalry, but questions remain regarding other traits that females select for and against in mates. Personality predicts attention bias for threat in orange-winged Amazon parrots, Amazona amazonica. VA Cussen, JA Mench University of California, Davis Stable behavioral differences between individuals of a species (i.e. personality,) may result from individual state characteristics (e.g. morphology or physiology). In turn, these characteristics can lead to differential fitness outcomes for individuals. Cognitive processing of environmental information may be such a characteristic. We developed a subjective personality assessment for A. amazonica. We then assessed whether personality predicted a cognitive state difference in attention bias for threat, as measured by the number of balks and errors when performing a spatial foraging task in the presence of a passive human observer. Two factors, ‘Neuroticism’ (N) and ‘Extraversion’ (E), accounted for 66% of the total variance in personality. There was individual variation, with N ranging from -10 to 22.3 and E from 9.25 to 27.5. Both factors were temporally consistent over one year (E ρ=0.82, p<0.00001; N ρ=0.88, p<0.00001). There was a significant correlation (ρ=0.58, p=0.047) between N and attention bias for threat. Our findings show that differences in personality are correlated with a biologically relevant difference in cognitive bias in vigilance for threat. New Insights into Avian Duet Structure and Function CR Dahlin 1, L Benedict 2 1. University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, 2. University of Northern Colorado Many avian species give vocal duets, and a common question posed regarding duets is what advantages are gained by participating in a joint signal that outweigh the costs of coordination? To answer this question we
    • reviewed publications on over 50 species of duetting birds to look for patterns in structure and function across species. We broke down the structural components of duets into categories, classified their function(s), and ranked them with confidence ratings. We classified duets into one conflict-based category, mate-guarding, and five cooperative categories. We found that structural data was incomplete for many species, but our compilation will serve as a foundation for future work. We found overwhelming evidence indicating that the majority of duets are used in solely cooperative situations or in both cooperative and conflict-based situations (primarily territory and/or resource defense). Thus the simple conflict versus cooperation dichotomy may not serve as a useful approach when investigating duets. In addition, the multi-functionality of many duets may help explain the vast diversity of duet forms and the lack of a clear association between duet form and function. Linking courtship behavior, color perception and mate choice decisions R Dakin 1 1. Queen's U Despite a long history of study showing that females prefer to mate with certain males, we lack a good understanding of how females choose. In this study, I use the peacock’s iridescent eyespots to link signal perception with female choice and male courtship behavior. Using models of avian color vision and measurements taken at light angles that mimic the way males display, I show that about 50% of the variation in male mating success can be explained by eyespot plumage color. Additionally, females are more likely to return to revisit males with greater eyespot color contrast after viewing them once. Next, I examine the iridescent eyespot colors under different light conditions, since males display at about 45° to the right of the sun, on average. I show that this light angle enhances eyespot color contrast in a way that may influence female choice. Lastly, I show that subtle differences between two peafowl species may be due to selection for enhanced eyespot color contrast in different habitats. Overall, my results demonstrate that by considering perception, we can better understand the function of behaviors on both sides of the courtship signaling exchange. Appreciating plasticity in sensory systems of both senders and receivers in sexual selection Lainy B. Day U of Mississippi We often ignore individual variation in favor of understanding species level trends. Yet, mate choices are known to vary by age, habitat, season, hormones, ontogeny, learning, genetics, etc. Such factors can influence female sensory physiology in ways that affect individual variation in female choice of males and can alter our understanding of sexual selection theory. Importantly, there are also particular mating systems where individual variation in male sensory physiology may have profound effects on sexual selection. When male courtship displays are constructed or produced by the male rather than being a fundamental part of the males' morphology, there exist the opportunity for the males’ sensory physiology to dramatically alter the signals females receive. Three important examples of signals that are highly dependent on male sensory physiology are the bowers of male bowerbirds, the display arenas and complex acrobatics of manakins, and the songs of songbirds. Such cases add a further layer of complexity to understanding sexual selection in light of individual variation in sensory physiology that may alter perception of the signal by the sender and and the receiver. The sunny side of egg stacking: multiple avoidance strategies in response to parasitism risk JB Deas 1, MS Hunter 1 U Arizona Organisms that do not provide parental care must weigh multiple factor or risks in the selection of an oviposition site, and may evolve strategies that increase offspring survivorship. The seed beetle, Mimosestes amicus, shows remarkable behavioral plasticity in response to variation in egg parasitism cues. When exposed to egg parasitoid adults, females superimpose eggs atop each other in order to protect bottom eggs from parasitism. Here, we examine egg protection behavior in response to variation in parasitism risk. We exposed females to treatments varying in the probability of encountering parasitized eggs on seed pods. Our results reveal that oviposition behavior was influenced by the evenness of the distribution of parasitized eggs. Females avoided oviposition on seed pods with parasitized eggs when other pods were available, and stacked their eggs only when all or almost all pods bore parasitized eggs. Remarkably, oviposition rate was also reduced in females exposed to higher parasitism risk. Our results provide novel evidence of an herbivore assessing risk to her offspring and adopting an oviposition strategy that includes both risk avoidance and offspring protection.
    • The Systematic Squirrel: Cache Effort and Organization, and Implications for Memory MM Delgado, LF Jacobs University of California at Berkeley We have previously found that fox squirrels match their caching effort to the potential energetic returns of food items. But there is a spatial component to cache effort: do food-storers arrange caches to reduce memory load? A scatter-hoarding squirrel could arrange caches hierarchically, using a cognitive mechanism known as chunking, caching food items in particular locations based on type. This question has not been addressed with field observations. We presented 26 wild fox squirrels with a series of 16 nuts of up to four types, in conditions that varied in complexity of sequence and hence potential memory load. We localized caches (N=843) using handheld GPS. Our results suggest that instead of chunking, squirrel’s cache organization can be modeled as two complementary heuristics. First, match investment to food item value and second, systematically cover a caching area. This model could explain many of our results, including the observation that increasing memory load impaired the squirrels’ ability to maintain consistent cache densities. I will discuss these and other results in the context of our emerging model of how the rational squirrel invests in and organizes its caches. Acoustic adaptation vs. magic traits: song diversification in a Neotropical avian radiation. EP Derryberry 1, N Seddon 2, S Claramunt 3, RT Brumfield 4, JA Tobias 2 1. Tulane University, 2. University of Oxford, 3. American Museum of Natural History, 4. Louisiana State University Diversification of mating signals can have important functional consequences for mate choice and species recognition in birds. An increasing number of studies have found evidence for a direct influence of ecological and sexual selection on signal divergence as well as an indirect influence of morphological adaptation to different foraging niches. How these direct and indirect forces interact to shape signal evolution remains poorly understood. Using phenotypic, ecological and molecular datasets, we explored the interplay between morphological, ecological and vocal evolution in an avian radiation characterized by dramatic ecological and morphological variation, the Neotropical ovenbirds and woodcreepers (Aves: Furnariidae). We examined both the direct influence of habitat differentiation as well as the indirect effect of biomechanical constraints on vocal evolution. Our results suggest that both direct and indirect selective forces separately shape signal evolution and have important implications for avian diversification. ABS and Animal Behavior: Historical Perspectives Donald A. Dewsbury I will attempt to summarize some of the conditions that led to the founding of the Animal Behavior Society as well as some of its later development. Although formally founded in 1964, the origination of the ABS is best viewed as a process, rather than an event. That founding occurred in the context of behavioral activity in a number of disciplines and locations and evolved from several conferences and committees in addition to such organizations as the American Society of Zoologists, the Ecological Society of America, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Much has changed since the ABS was founded, but some of the core principles of informality, the right to present material, and free discussion remain intact. I will review some of the development of the society including its membership, governance, disciplinary affiliations, meetings, scope, and principal research foci. Dynamic status signals in a cooperatively breeding bird C Dey 1, J Dale 2, JS Quinn 1 1. McMaster University, 2. Massey University Signals of dominance and fighting ability are used to settle disputes over mates and other resources. Since there could be an advantage for individuals to dishonestly signal their fighting ability, the maintenance of honest dominance signalling systems has been considered an evolutionary paradox. Here, we show that the size of the pukeko’s (Porphyrio melanotus melanotus) frontal shield ornament is a strong predictor of dominance status within social groups, even after controlling for potential confounding variables. Furthermore, when we experimentally decreased the apparent size of the shield in some birds, their true shield size also quickly decreased (within 1 week). Since our manipulation only changed the apparent size of the shields, it could not have affected the physiological costs of producing or bearing them. Thus the observed change in shield size must have been caused
    • by changes in social interactions caused by the manipulation. As a result, we provide indirect evidence that social interactions can influence status signal expression, which could potentially maintain honesty in status signalling systems. Extrapair paternity in the absence of tradeoffs in the western bluebird JL Dickinson 1, ED Ferree 1,2 1. Cornell University, 2. Claremont Colleges The prevalence of extapair mating in socially monogamous birds has complex implications for the intensity of sexual selection. The mean net benefit for males engaging in extra-pair mating varies widely among species and populations. On the one hand, extrapair (EP) paternity can significantly increase male reproductive success, potentially increasing the variance in male fitness and the intensity of sexual selection. On the other hand, tradeoffs between extra-pair and within-pair mating will dampen this effect. In western bluebirds, we show that successful EP males are also successful sires of their own broods, doubling their annual fitness compared to males not siring EP young. Further dissection of components of reproductive success indicates an absence of tradeoffs and an unexpected augmentation of fitness due to higher fledging success at EP nests. In our population of western bluebirds, both extrapair mating preferences and paternity favor older males. We explore the outsized success of extrapair males within the context of sexual selection favoring male longevity, a fitness component that is often attributed only to natural selection. Beluga Mouth Play: More Than Just A Game S. Dietrich 1, S. Garza 2, H. Hill 1 1. St. Mary's University, 2. University of Texas at San Antonio In a longitudinal study on the behavioral development of four beluga calves, we documented the spontaneous emergence of a rare affiliative motor play interaction between calves called the “mouth game”. This tug-of-war game has been anecdotally observed in various captive beluga environments, but its function and origin are unclear. The purpose of this study was to explore the topography, developmental sequence, and developmental timing of this behavior. The mouth game emerged spontaneously and without observational learning in two 3month old calves raised with each other and their mothers, providing strong evidence that the mouth game is likely an innate developmental stage. Two calves born after the first demonstration of the "mouth game" also displayed this behavior at similar ages. We compared the frequency of the mouth game to other types of play. As expected, other types of play developed in complexity and increased in frequency over time. However, the mouth game emerged as a discrete event and occurred at inconsistent intervals that did not increase in frequency. These results suggest that the mouth game is different from other types of play displayed by belugas. Who’s your neighbour? Acoustic cues to individual identity in red squirrel rattle calls. SM Digweed 1,2 D Rendall 2, T Imbeau 1 1. Grant MacEwan University, 2. University of Lethbridge North American red squirrels often produce a territorial rattle call when conspecifics enter or invade. Previous playback experiments suggest that rattle calls may indicate an invader's identity as squirrels responded more to calls played from strangers than neighbors. This dear-enemy effect is well known and functions to reduce aggressive interactions between known neighbours. However, although previous experiments suggest some form of individual differentiation and recognition, detailed acoustic analysis of acoustic cues in rattle calls have not been conducted. If calls function to aid in conspecific identification in order to mitigate aggressive territorial interactions, we would expect that individual recognition cues would be acoustically represented.Our work provides a detailed discriminant function analysis of acoustic cues to identity within 225 rattle calls across 32 individual squirrels. A detailed analysis of clusters of neighbouring squirrels indicated a significant likelihood that calls were assigned correctly to specific squirrels (55-75% correctly assigned); in other words squirrels have distinct voices that should allow for identification and discrimination. Swamp smarts: discovering cryptic intelligence in crocodilians. V Dinets 1,2 1 Louisiana State University 2 University of Tennessee, Knoxville Crocodilians (crocodiles, alligators and their relatives) have usually been thought of as simple-minded, lethargic eating machines, commonly mistaken for plastic models by zoo visitors. This image is now rapidly changing.
    • During a six-year comparative study of multimodal communication in all extant crocodilian species and follow-up research, I discovered that (1) crocodilians engage in complex courtship "dances" involving up to a hundred individuals; (2) their sophisticated signaling system, which simultaneously utilizes five different physical channels, can be optimized for the most effective signal transmission depending on habitat parameters; (3) they are capable of mutual coordination and collaboration during cooperative hunting; (4) they use hunting tools. These findings provided insights into different aspects of crocodilian phylogeny, behavioral and morphological evolution, and social organization. Combined with recent discoveries by other researchers, such as complex parental care involving diverse signal repertoire and feeding the offspring, they show striking levels of cryptic behavioral complexity, and suggest impressive intelligence that cannot be detected by casual observations. Parental effort in relation to multiple sexual signals in blue-black grassquits P Diniz, RHF Macedo Universidade de Brasília Parental attractiveness influences paternal and maternal efforts in a wide range of taxa with biparental care. However, we still lack an understanding concerning the direction of the correlation between attractiveness and parental effort, possibly because studies usually consider only one of multiple ornaments. We investigated predictions of five hypotheses linking attractiveness (coloration, song and aerial display traits) and parental effort (feeding rates) in a wild population of blue-black grassquits (Volatinia jacarina), a Neotropical sexually dichromatic bird with biparental care. Paternal effort was negatively related to male coloration (ultraviolet-blue chroma, low hue) and positively related to one male song attribute (central frequency), suggesting that males carry redundant information about paternal investment. Interestingly, maternal effort was positively related to a third male trait (blue-black plumage coverage). These results are more consistent with the positive differential allocation hypothesis, which predicts that high male attractiveness should be associated with low paternal and high maternal investment. Juvenile exposure to pathogens affects the presence of personality in field crickets N DiRienzo 1, PT Niemelä 2, AV Hedrick 1, A Vainikka 2, R Kortet 2 1. University of California, Davis, 2. University of Eastern Finland Over the last decade the study of consistent differences in individual behavior, or "animal personalities,” has been a major focus of behavioral ecology research. While we now know personalities are present across a range of taxa, little is known about how early experience affects adult personality. Here we explore how exposure to pathogens at two moments in development influence two attributes of personality: the mean behavioral types of exposed versus control individuals, and consistency individuals’ behavior tendencies. Specifically, we test how exposure to a bacterial pathogen (Serratia marcescens) influences adult personality in the cricket, Gryllus integer. After maturation we conducted two boldness trials to assess individual personality type and the consistency of behavior. After the behavioral trials we measured encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity as proxies for immune function. Our results suggest that juvenile exposure to pathogens does affect consistency of adult behavior. In particular, whether we were able to detect consistent individual differences in behavior or not depended on exposure history, and whether this exposure occurred as adults or juveniles. The contribution of additive genetic variation to personality variation NA Dochtermann 1, T Schwab 1 1. North Dakota State U Considerable recent research in behavioral ecology has focused on understanding the proximate and ultimate causes and consequences of personality variation. Much of this research has assumed an underlying genetic basis for personality variation and a handful of studies have explicitly estimated the quantitative genetics of personality. More frequently personality researchers (and evolutionary ecologists in general) have used repeatability as a proxy for heritability. Thus, unfortunately, the general validity of the assumption that additive genetic variance underlies personality differences has not previously been examined. Here, using meta-analysis, we estimated the degree to which repeatability approximates heritability and the relative contribution of additive genetic variation to personality variation. We found that repeatability and heritability were generally concordant (rp = 0.85) and that, across studies, 60% of personality variation was attributable to additive genetic variation.
    • Immersive learning at zoos and aquariums G Dodson Ball State University Preparing students for zoo and aquarium careers is challenging within the constraints of academic settings. Unless the university is in a city with a zoo and/or aquarium, it generally means discussions about the operation of those institutions rather than direct experience. Ball State is located an hour and a half from the nearest zoos; yet we have more students with a desire to become keepers than any other area of biology. To bridge this gap I have developed an immersive learning program and enlisted the aid of staff at regional zoos and aquariums to educate our students about their overall operation. The most intensive interactions (meetings with administrators, job shadowing, keeper demonstrations) involve a primary partner (Fort Wayne Children's Zoo) in a mutually beneficial collaboration. Each year the team of students takes on at least one major project determined by zoo staff to be a valid programmatic need. Examples to be described include animal behavior research, creation of educational videos, interpretive displays, and visitor research. Creative use of camera technology has enabled studies that otherwise would have been prohibitive due to travel costs. Wing Stroking to Male Song Affects Female Social Organization R Dohme, AP King, GR Meredith, GM Kohn, MJ West Indiana University This research focused on how groups of females of brown-headed cowbirds, Molothrus ater, act to shape male song in a non-imitative manner. The behaviour of interest was a conspicuous low-frequency rapid female wing movement that co-occurs with male song termed the wing stroke. The present experiment studied eight flocks configured to exhibit variation in patterns of social organization. Each flock contained juvenile males housed with different numbers of females chosen to show different levels of social interest in males. This experiment demonstrated the same pattern of female organization in seven out of eight flocks. In all but one flock, one female produced significantly more social feedback in the form of wing strokes to male song than did her female flock mates. There was also a significant correlation between the amount of social feedback a female provided during male song, and how much she was approached by other females. This research is the first to document a robust pattern of female social organization that promotes non-imitative learning in juvenile songbirds. Behavioral and acoustic mate guarding vary with attractiveness in Red-backed Fairy-wren males JL Dowling 1,2 MS Webster 1,2 1. Cornell University, 2. Cornell Lab of Ornithology In species with extra-pair copulations (EPCs), males face a trade-off between mate guarding and seeking EPCs. Females prefer “attractive” males for EPCs. Attractive males thus increase extra-pair paternity by seeking EPCs, whereas "unattractive" males will not and are predicted to mate guard to maintain within-pair paternity. Red-backed Fairy-wren (Malurus melanocephalus, RBFW) males of the same age exhibit two phenotypes. Red/black males sire more extra-pair young and are preferred in choice experiments by females over brown males. The two morphs sire similar numbers of within-pair young. We predicted that brown males would mate guard more than red/black males to maintain within-pair paternity and because RBFW sing duets, we predicted they might guard acoustically. Indeed, attractive males invest in seeking EPCs, while unattractive males invest in mate guarding behaviorally (following) and acoustically (answering their mate’s songs). This supports the prediction that unattractive males invest in mate guarding, which may be effective, since they maintain within-pair paternity. These results support the hypothesis that males adopt reproductive strategies conditional on attractiveness. Is infidelity of female boobies facilitated or curtailed by serial monogamy? H Drummond1, C Rodríguez1, O Sanchez1, A Ramos1 1. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Re-mating with the same female occurs in many and diverse avian species, and varies inter-specifically from pairings that usually last a lifetime to pairings that are highly variable in duration. What drives this inter- and intraspecific variation? Many factors, surely. One factor that has not, to our knowledge, been considered is possible impacts of re-mating on extra-pair paternity. Might increased familiarity with their partners enable males to better guard them, or females to better sidestep guarding? Either effect could increase the net benefit of re-mating for one of the partners and decrease it for the other, potentially affecting their probability of re-mating. To address this issue, we examined the incidence of extra-pair paternity in broods of 385 pairs of blue-footed boobies of varying
    • partnership durations, while controlling for breeder ages, laying date, nest location, nest density and brood size. Preliminary analyses indicate that a female is more likely to produce extra-pair chicks on her second breeding event with a particular male, but not on later events with him. But why would that be? And is the effect large enough to cancel the male’s re-mating payoff? Mate-choice copying and its effect on speciation: a conceptual model and some preliminary thoughts LA Dugatkin University of Louisville Mate-choice copying has been found in a number of species. A number of models have looked at the evolution of this type of social learning, but to date no models have examined the effect of mate choice copying on population differentiation and speciation. Here, I will present a family of conceptual models that do this, and provide some preliminary results of these models. Social attraction and social learning in fruit flies: mechanisms and functions RDukas, Z Durisko, S Golden, I Venu, B Anderson McMaster University We have established novel protocols for examining ultimate and proximate mechanisms underlying social information use in fruit flies, a highly tractable model system for which superb neurogenetic tools are available. Both larvae and adults are attracted to the distinct, salient odor emanating from food patches occupied by larvae and learn to prefer novel odors associated with feeding larvae. Females also show a strong preference for laying eggs at patches occupied by larvae and maintain this preference even when the occupied patches are substantially less nutritional than nearby unoccupied patches. Larvae hatching from eggs laid at occupied patches have lower fitness than control larvae owing to slower development and smaller adult size. Our data suggest that females have limited abilities to assess food quality but that larvae are highly mobile and tend to aggregate over time at the best available food patch. Larvae and adults can thus rely on larval social cues for optimal patch choice. Dynamics of social behaviour in fruit fly larvae Z Durisko, R Dukas McMaster University There has been recent interest to develop simple models for studying the mechanisms and evolution of social behaviour. We developed a protocol for examining social behaviour in fruit fly larvae (Drosophila melanogaster), an ideal model owing to its tractable nervous system and amenability to neurogenetic manipulation. We examined the timing and extent of aggregation behaviour and found that larvae exhibited similar patterns of moderate aggregation regardless of initial egg distribution. We assessed several ecological factors and found that larvae aggregate more when food substrates are harder, and when only one patch is softer, indicating that digging and breaking the food’s surface are important factors determining aggregation. We also found evidence of aggregation on very soft food, and when the surface was uniformly pre-dug, indicating that larvae aggregate for reasons other than digging. Finally, we show that dfmr1 mutants, homologous to Fragile X Syndrome in humans, a leading cause of mental retardation and autism, exhibit altered aggregation behaviour. Fruit fly larvae are an excellent system for further work on the ecology, evolution and mechanisms of social behaviour. Predicting behavioral responses to human-altered environments: lessons from signal detection theory SM Ehlman 1, PC Trimmer 2, A Sih 1 1 University of California, Davis, 2 University of Bristol In a world that has been altered by human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC), animals may be trapped by previously adaptive cue-response systems that are no longer adaptive. We use Signal Detection Theory to predict effects that such changes may have on behavior. Our model is a reserve-dependent model that optimizes reproductive output while tracking expected lifespan. We assume optimal responses to safe and dangerous cues allowing for uncertainty in a pre-HIREC environment. We analyze responses to novel cues before animals have a chance to evolve new cue-response relationships. Not surprisingly, we find that when novel dangerous objects with cue distributions similar to previous safe ones are introduced, survival plummets. Non-intuitively, however, we also find that when novel, benign objects that appear dangerous to animals occur (e.g., humans that look like predators), reproductive output quickly decreases but expected lifespan only marginally declines. Lastly, we show
    • new optimal responses in post-HIREC environments, concluding that without plastic responses and/or learning, organisms may not be able to achieve new optima in a rapidly changed landscape. How male competition and guarding moderates female choice and multiple mating DO Elias 1, MM Kasumovic 2 1. UC Berkeley, 2. University of New South Wales Predictable shifts in the sex ratio of the jumping spider Phidippus clarus is hypothesized to partition selection on males to be driven by male-male competition early in the breeding season and female mate choice later in the breeding season. Early males co-habit with and defend immature female nests from intruding males. Later males encounter mature females outside of nests and court them using multimodal courtship signals. As a result of this temporal and spatial partitioning of selection, mating history could have a strong impact on selection. In this study we looked at mating behavior in pairs of co-habiting spiders. Next we looked at the effect of (1) co-habitation with mating, (2) co-habitation without mating, and (3) no cohabitation on the mating rates of females for a series of potential suitors. Our results show that males produce unique, costly courtship vibrations when co-habiting. We also show that females mate multiply but show reduced receptivity after successful copulations suggesting an increase in choosiness. Strong female choice is suggested to drive the evolution of unique suites of behaviors that function later in the breeding season. How head positions and movement rates are related to chromatic contrast and visual physiology AL Ensminger, TL Pearson, GJ Todd, E Fernández-Juricic Purdue University The configuration of the visual system plays an important role in foraging behavior of organisms that rely heavily on vision to locate food. Factors such as the location of the fovea, the width of the binocular field, the density of photoreceptors, and the absorbance properties of photoreceptors combine to determine how easily organisms identify food items against substrates. We hypothesized that these factors can affect head movement rates, head positions, and the success rate of finding food. We tested this hypothesis in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in two treatments: millet against a high contrasting background and against a low contrasting background. We will present the frequency of head movements, the proportion of time spent in various head positions, and the seedfinding rates, in relation to chromatic contrast. We will also present the relationship between individual variation in these behaviors and individual variation in visual physiology. This study has implications for understanding the relationship between visual physiology and foraging behavior. Predatory behavior differs with prey type and its defensive behavior in naïve spiderlings I Escalante Universidad de Costa Rica The attacks by spiders on prey include many different behaviors. Attack behavior varies adaptively with the prey type in adults of some species, but the behavior of newly emerged, inexperienced spiderlings is scarcely known. I studied Physocyclus globosus (Pholcidae), which attacks walking and flying prey in its sheet web. I found that the details of the first attack of a spiderling differed when they attacked a fruitfly as opposed to an ant. The behavioral units employed were the same, but the sequences of transitions between behaviors differed with prey type. Spiderlings also touched, wrapped, immobilized and handled ants for longer than flies. Ants sometimes damaged a spiderling leg, and both prey types commonly escaped. While being attacked ants twisted in the web, moved antennae, legs and body segments longer than flies. In addition, the defensive behavior of the prey was often correlated positively with the attack behavior of spiderlings; an ant or fly that moved its legs for longer was wrapped for longer. These results indicate that ants were a more difficult prey than flies. In sum, the predatory behavior of these spiderlings was flexible even in their first attack. Foraging behaviour contributes to sexual dimorphism in immune function BG Fanson, KV Fanson, PW Taylor Macquarie University Male animals often have reduced immune function compared to females but the proximate mechanisms underlying this taxonomically widespread pattern are unclear. Because immune function is resource-dependent and sexes may differ in foraging behaviour, we hypothesized that sexual dimorphism in immune function may arise from differential nutrient intake (acquisition hypothesis). To test this hypothesis, we examined the relationship between
    • nutrient consumption and patterns of phenoloxidase (PO) activity, a key component of insect immune systems, in Queensland fruit flies. In the first experiment, flies were allowed to consume their preferred nutrient intake. In the second experiment, we restricted flies to one of 12 diets varying in protein and carbohydrate concentrations. By mapping PO activity for each sex onto a nutritional landscape, we show that sex differences in nutritional intake contribute to, but do not fully explain, sex differences in PO activity. We discuss implications of our results for theory adressing the evolution of sexual dimorphism in immune function. Physiological correlates of consistent individual differences in behavior KV Fanson 1, F Santostefano 1,2, J Endler 1, JA Stamps 3, PA Biro 1 1. Deakin University, 2. Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, 3. University of California, Davis It has become widely recognized that animals exhibit consistent individual differences (CIDs) in behavior, but the proximate mechanisms underlying these CIDs remain unclear. Two proposed mechanisms are 1) energy metabolism (metabolic hypothesis), and 2) expression of proopiomelanocortin, a gene which has pleiotropic effects (melanocortin hypothesis). We examine support for these two hypotheses in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We repeatedly measured metabolic rate, coloration, and four behaviors (resting activity rate, feeding, startle response, and courtship). The metabolic hypothesis predicts that resting metabolic rate should be correlated with feeding (an energy-yielding behavior) and courtship (an energetically expensive behavior). Conversely, the melanocortin hypothesis predicts that there should be correlations among the amount of black coloration, metabolic rate, and all four behaviors.We found strong correlations between activity, feeding, boldness, and black coloration. Neither courtship nor metabolic rate were correlated with other factors. Therefore, we found mixed support for the melanocortin hypothesis, but no support for the metabolic hypothesis. Differences in Social and Cognitive Behavior between Congenitally Deaf and Hearing Dogs. VA Farmer-Dougan Illinois State University Domestic dogs are highly social creatures who attend to and understand a variety of human and canine social cues. Whether these socialization behaviors develop as part of a complex socialization period, or are relatively inflexible and perhaps innate remains elusive. Using congenitally deaf versus hearing dogs, one can examine how these different socialization experiences may affect social and cognition development. Deaf dogs, unlike hearing dogs, are unable to benefit from early experience with vocalized socialization. How deaf dogs compensate for the loss of vocalized cues during social interactions provides a basis for understanding the development of social and cognitive behaviors. Recent data from my lab shows that deaf dogs exhibit greater separation anxiety than hearing dogs but are also more likely to model a human rather than another dog. Deaf dogs were also more easily fooled by humans. These differences could be highly beneficial for congenitally deaf dogs because attending to owner cues increase the likelihood of avoiding risky situations and obtaining reward. Our laboratory will continue to investigate this special relationship between deaf dogs and their owners. Coming in from the Cold: mating behavior and diapause length under differing cold incubation periods GL Ferguson, SM Bertram Carleton University Animals living in temperate climates often adjust their developmental stages to coincide with favourable environmental conditions. Gryllus pennsylvanicus, the North American fall field cricket, lays diapause-only eggs which overwinter in an arrested state. Changes to the length of cold incubation period affect cricket diapause length and may influence the timing and rate of subsequent life history events. Here we compared differences in hatching time, physical and temporal development, adult body size, and adult male mating behavior in G. pennsylvanicus in individuals that have experienced different cold incubation periods during diapause (4°C for 0, 1, 2 and 4 weeks). Eggs that underwent no cold incubation took longer to hatch than those with cold incubation. Differences in male adult calling behavior were also observed. Shifts in time spent calling, carrier frequency, and amplitude were found between incubation treatments. This is one of the first studies to link changes in adult mating behavior to variation in egg diapause length and elucidates important implications for studies comparing laboratory results to field research.
    • Incorporating the receiver’s visual system into the mate choice equation E Fernandez-Juricic1 1. Purdue U Visual signals are important in mate choice (plumage coloration, visual displays). Evidence shows that betweenindividual variation (BIV) can be present in the sex that signals visually. My goal is to assess the potential for BIV in the receiver’s visual system and its effects on mate choice. There is some evidence on BIV in the visual system. For instance, cowbirds and house sparrows appear to vary in the density of single and double cones (which affects chromatic/achromatic visual resolution), and house finches seem to differ in the absorbance of oil droplets (which influences color discrimination). The visual contrast model is the best hypothesis so far to make quantitative predictions as to how visual sensory differences could affect mate-choice by predicting the visual saliency of signals. I will discuss some key model parameters and assumptions that require empirical testing as well as some fundamental questions to be answered from physiological and behavioral perspectives, including the development of a new generation of visual contrast models that include relevant ecological information (distance between sender and receiver, motion). Social dynamics and selection on cooperation in groups of harvester ant queens JHFewell Arizona State University The harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex californicus, has contiguous populations in which queens establish nests alone or as cooperative groups of non-relatives. This allows us to measure costs and benefits of cooperation versus noncooperation at a unique point in social evolution – the transition to cooperation. A set of experiments comparing social interactions, survival and productivity in groups of normally solitary and/or cooperative queens suggest an advantage to cooperation at both group and individual levels. Non-cooperation confers a high cost to both the individual and the social group via amplification of aggression. In contrast, cooperation seems to provide unexpected advantages across social contexts. Cooperative queens show unexpected efficiencies of brood production when together, suggesting they may regulate brood production and care around social context. This social regulation may actually allow them to take advantage of normally solitary queens in mixed groups. These experiments collectively suggest a scenario of the early evolution of cooperation in which cooperative queens benefit benefit over non-cooperators who lack a priori strategies for either cooperation or cheating. Does variation in peripheral sensory structures predict response threshold in Temnothorax ants? N Fischer, D Charbonneau, W Gronenberg, A Dornhaus University of Arizona Ants exhibit pronounced inter-individual behavioral variation. Within a colony, few workers are highly active, while as many as 60% of workers are persistently idle. A widely accepted paradigm to explain this variation is the Response Threshold Model, which proposes that workers differ in their responses to task-related stimuli. The neural mechanisms underlying thresholds are not well understood. In honeybees, inter-individual allometric variation in sensory organs correlates with task preference, implicating a role for the sensory structures in variable sensory sensitivity and threshold-mediated task specialization. The present study applies this paradigm to activity levels in Temnothorax ants to reveal whether elaboration of the sensory organs explains fundamental differences in thresholds. Activity level of workers was compared with the number of antennal sensilla. Workers differed in their activity level and sensilla number, though the correlation was weak, suggesting that peripheral sensitivity does not directly predict activity level. The variation in sensilla does, however, raise interesting questions regarding the functional consequences of differential sensory organ development. A test of the Reliable Indicator Hypothesis in the Amboseli baboons CL Fitzpatrick 1, J Altmann 2,3, SC Alberts 1,3,4 1 National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, 2 Princeton U, 3 Inst of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya, 4 Duke U The paradigm of competitive males vying to influence female mate choice has been repeatedly upheld. Increasingly, studies also report competitive females and choosy males. This raises the question; to what extent might females experience sexual selection? One trait proposed to be under sexual selection in females is the exaggerated estrous swelling displayed by females of many Old World primate species. The Reliable Indicator Hypothesis (RIH) posits that females use the exaggerated swellings to compete for access to mates by advertising
    • variation in female fitness. We tested the predictions of the RIH in a wild population of baboons and although we did find evidence that swelling size influences male behavior, we found no evidence that swelling size predicts female fitness. That is, our results reject the RIH. Furthermore, males biased their mating decisions in favor of females who had experienced more sexual cycles since their most recent pregnancy. Taken together, our results suggest that, rather than being indicators of enduring female quality, exaggerated swellings may indicate the more transient quality of the reproductive opportunity. Audience effect on victory displays in crickets LP Fitzsimmons 1,2, SM Bertram 2 1 University of Windsor, 2 Carleton University The social environment plays an important role in the evolution of behavior. Animals engage in contests for resources and mates, and contests often occur within communication networks. Male crickets frequently engage in aggressive contests over resources. Winning a contest increases a male’s mating success by providing access to mate attraction territories or through female choice for dominant males, and contest winners advertise their success via victory displays. We examined how the presence and sex of an audience influenced post-contest behavior in field crickets (Gryllus veletis). We found that audience type, rearing environment, and their interaction were important predictors of victory display behavior. Audience type may impose different costs and benefits for competing males, depending on whether they win or lose the contest and whether they are socially experienced. Field-captured winners, in particular, may deter future aggression from rivals by advertising their victories. Our study demonstrates that the ability to perceive an audience and adjust behavior accordingly is not restricted to vertebrates and may be more common across animal taxa than previously recognized. Visual and chemosensory discrimination in the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) P Foerder 1. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Octopuses demonstrate many cognitive abilities including discrimination and problem solving. We hypothesize that octopuses are capable of both visual and chemosensory discrimination in a task that involves opening a jar with a screw-top lid. In a series of multiple trial experiments, two giant Pacific octopuses (Enteroctopus dofleini), at the Tennessee Aquarium, choose between two closed plastic jars, one containing food. To test visual discrimination, we place visible food inside one of two clear jars. To test chemosensory discrimination the animal is given the choice of two opaque jars. The jar containing food is treated with a chemical cue by rubbing its exterior with a food item. In a further experiment to confirm chemosensory discrimination, the same two jars are presented without the food treatment. In addition, we investigate discrimination learning by treating both opaque jars with a different foodbased chemical cue to determine if the animal is capable of learning that one cue indicates a food baited jar. The results of these experiments could provide further information about the influence of cognition and perception on the foraging strategies of octopuses. The genotypic view of cooperation and competition in microbial communities Kevin R Foster U of Oxford Hamilton’s work brought clarity to the problem of cooperative behavior. Why do honeybee workers labor without reproducing, why do birds make alarm calls, and why do humans often help one another? Hamilton’s answer was that such cooperative behaviors must either increases the personal fitness of the actor or the relatives of the actor. One group of social organisms that was little discussed, however, is the microbes whose full potential for cooperation only recently came to light. Do microbes typically help or harm those around them and can we identify the factors that promote cooperation over competition? We study these questions using a diversity of systems, including computer simulations, pseudomonad bacteria and budding yeast. We find that single-genotype patches naturally emerge in microbial groups, which creates favorable conditions for cooperation within a particular genotype. However, between different microbial genotypes we find that competitive phenotypes is more likely than cooperation. This leads us to a simple Hamiltonian model – the genotypic view – that predicts microbes will evolve to help their own genotype but harm most other strains and species that they meet.
    • Population Responses to Rapid Environmental Change: Insights from Geographic Variation in Behavior SA Foster Clark University Population responses to rapidly changing environments are likely to reflect both phenotypic plasticity and genetic responses to shifting selective regimes. Recent efforts to understand how populations will respond to rapidly changing environments involve assessment of fitness or performance of current populations under conditions expected to prevail in the future. This approach accounts for plastic responses to novel environments but does not account for the possibility that traits can evolve in response to rapid environmental change. As behavioral phenotypes are typically responsive to environmental conditions, they are likely to both provide initial, plastic responses to changing environments, but also to evolve over the longer term. The geographic distributions of many species encompass a range of environments, often including extremes to which individuals are likely to be exposed in the future. Here I argue that exploration of geographic variation in the plasticity of behavioral phenotypes can offer insights into the way populations will respond to rapid anthropogenic change, and thus can facilitate identification of populations of particular conservation concern. Mate choice as a mechanism for local adaptation and ecological divergence KD Fowler-Finn, RL Rodriguez University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Adaptation resulting from mate choice provides a mechanism for the rapid creation of ecological differences among populations, and confronts the following challenge: the current view of adaptation and diversification as reliant on natural selection appears incapable of accounting for observed rapid rates of divergence. We test the hypothesis that adaptation occurs via mate choice by studying members of the Enchenopa binotata complex of treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). These plant-feeding insects show a pattern of diversification in concert with changes in female mate preferences and male mating signals, along with shifts in host plant use. If sexual selection leads to adaptation, we expect two major patterns: (i) on native host plants (on which selection has had time to act), males with the most attractive signals should demonstrate the highest ecological performance, and (ii) on novel host plants, this relationship should be disrupted. We used host-shift experiments to test these patterns, and discuss our results in terms of the potential they have to unify a diverse suite of expectations about how adaptation and divergence proceed. Evaluating the strength of acoustic adaptation using metabolic theory of ecology CD Francis National Evolutionary Synthesis Center Acoustic communication is critical to fitness for diverse taxa & researchers have long sought to understand how acoustic signals evolve in response to habitat structure (acoustic adaptation hypothesis, AAH). Yet comparative studies have often neglected to evaluate the role of phylogeny & the influence of metabolic costs of signaling when testing AAH. Here, I use 1st-order predictions from the metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) in a phylogenetic comparative framework to weigh evidence for signal evolution in response to habitat structure. For a large avian dataset, MTE predicts the central tendency for several signal features & deviations from predictions are consistent with AAH. For example, birds in forested & open habitats signal at lower & higher frequencies than expected based on MTE respectively; however, the opportunity for acoustic adaptation appears to have a strong link to body size. This work not only clarifies the strength of acoustic adaptation through comparisons to 1st-order predictions, but also provides a needed framework for incorporating the physiological limitations to sound production & identifying how signal features tradeoff through energetic compromises. Social dynamics and network analyses of laboratory mouse behavior B Franks, JP Curley Columbia University Though animals form complex social networks in the field, less is known regarding the dynamics of social systems in laboratory settings. To explore the extent of social complexity under controlled conditions, we investigated the behavior of male laboratory mice housed in complex environments (N = 12/group). Over two weeks, behavioral data on each individual in each group was collected using continuous focal animal sampling. A combination of statistical approaches including network analysis and multilevel models revealed complex temporal patterns as well as individual and group level differences. Our results provide preliminary evidence that dynamic social
    • processes arise in laboratory-housed mice. Exploring these systems in the laboratory may provide a unique opportunity to apply experimental control to various hypotheses such as the consequences of removing highly central individuals, the role of environment in network structure, and the relationship between neurobiology and individual and group-level characteristics. Social network dynamics: how to distinguish between heterogeneous and homogeneous changes M Franz 1, J Altmann 2, SC Aberts 1 1 Duke University, 2 Princeton University How social networks change over time is a topic of increasing interest. However, to understand network dynamics – including network changes caused by deaths or dispersals of group members – researchers must distinguish between heterogeneous and homogeneous changes in networks. Heterogeneous changes occur if relationships change differentially, e.g. when some relationships are terminated but others remain intact. Homogeneous changes occur if all relationships are affected in the same way, e.g. when association rates decrease homogeneously across all dyads. Homogeneous changes can strongly reduce the probability of observing weak relationships; thus, they can appear to alter observed network structures in the way that heterogeneous changes would. Via simulations we confirm that homogeneous and heterogeneous changes can have similar effects on observed social networks, potentially leading to false conclusions about network dynamics. We propose a randomization test to identify heterogeneous changes and we use this test to investigate the effects of natural perturbations caused by deaths or dispersals of alpha and beta males in a natural population of yellow baboons. Elevation-related differences in hippocampal morphology in chickadees persist in captive environment CA Freas, VV Pravosudov University of Nevada, Reno Harsh winter climates may lead to higher demands on memory, especially in food-caching animals that rely on spatial memory to retrieve caches for survival. We previously showed that differences in winter climate severity along an elevation montane gradient are associated with differences in spatial memory and the hippocampus in mountain chickadees. To avoid any captivity effects on the brain, our previous work reported hippocampal measurements in juvenile, wild-caught chickadees, while memory performance was measured in a separate group of birds kept in captive laboratory environment. We now measured the hippocampus in chickadees used for laboratory memory studies and found that (1) captive environment was associated with significant reduction in hippocampal volume and (2) despite such reduction, significant differences between high and low elevation chickadees persisted in both hippocampal volume and the number of neurons after months of captivity. These results further support our hypothesis that differences in memory and the hippocampus between high and low elevation chickadees are produced by selection rather than by any immediate differences in the environment. Tufted titmice calling in the face of threat TM Freeberg 1, I Krams 2, T Krama 2, J Vrublevska 2, C Kullberg 3 1. University of Tennessee, 2 Daugavpils University, Latvia; 3. University of Stockholm, Sweden Individuals often produce alarm or mobbing calls when they detect a predator. Little is known about whether such calling is affected by the predator’s facial orientation. We tested for an effect of facial orientation of a potential predator on tufted titmice, Baeolophus bicolor, a songbird that uses a ‘chick-a-dee’ call used in a wide range of social contexts. In two studies, the researcher wore an animal mask and either faced or faced 180° away from the focal bird(s). In study 1, focal birds were individually trapped in a walk-in trap, and the observer stood 1 m from the trapped bird. In study 2, focal birds were titmouse flocks around a feeding station, and the observer stood 3 m away from the station. In both studies, note composition of the ‘chick-a-dee’ calls was affected by mask orientation. These results indicate that titmice can perceive the facial orientation of a potential predator and vary their calling behavior in ways that may warn or attract flockmates. This work has implications for our understanding of prey cognition about predator attributes, and our understanding of anti-predator communication. Interspecific assessment of sexual signals: Can eavesdroppers choose hosts for their offspring? AB Fuller, JR Burrows, RL Earley University of Alabama Heterospecific eavesdroppers are known to use sexual signals to detect potential prey or hosts. We provide experimental evidence that some potentially mutualistic eavesdroppers can also use sexual signals to assess
    • signaler traits. Male longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis) care for the offspring of bluenose shiners (Pteronotropis welaka) in an arrangement that may benefit both species. We show that shiners distinguish between hosts based on opercular flap length, a sexual signal used by female sunfish to choose mates and correlated with male success in aggressive interactions. Male sunfish were experimentally modified to have lengthened, average, or shortened opercular flaps. When a small school of shiners was placed in a tank with two sunfish, they preferred to spend more time near the individual with longer opercular flaps. When placed in a tank containing only one sunfish, shiners responded equally to individuals with long and short flaps. Our data indicate that bluenose shiners, like female sunfish, are able to select between male sunfish based on the relative quality of their sexual signals. "Til Further Notice I'm In-Between." Transitional Males: 3rd Male Phenotype in a Reversible Cichlid AG Fulmer 1, 2, H Neumeister 2, T Preuss 2 1. Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2 Hunter College, City University of New York The African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni represents a valuable model system for behavioral research and neuroscience due to their elaborate socially mediated phenotypic plasticity shaping brain and behavior. In this species, males reversibly transition in social status from reproductively dominant and territorial (T) to nonreproductive and non-territorial (NT) as they traditionally are categorized into two phenotype groups by global or focal observational scoring. Research on many aspects of life history (including reproduction, stress response and social ecology) has been based on this two-group categorization describing striking differences between Ts and NTs at the behavioral, physiological and molecular levels. Here we suggest yet a third male phenotype, the transitional male (TR) distinct from Ts or NTs, based on focal observations and prior records in the literature. Specifically, the frequency of display of bright body coloration and the distribution of specific behaviors such as flee (F (21, 2) = 20.750, P < .0001, 95% CL), threat (F (21, 2) = 46.357, P < .0001, 95% CL) and ignore-threat (F (21, 2) = 40.671, P < .0001, 95% CL) vary nonlinearly among T, TR, and NT males. Planned burning and swamp wallabies: do they bounce back? C Galindez-Silva, A York, J Di Stefano University of Melbourne Planned fires are used to reduce the effects of bushfire to human life and property, and to conserve biodiversity. This study investigates the response of swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) to a planned burn in Victoria, Australia, considering it influences the abundance of vegetation resources used for food and shelter by the wallabies. Is the home range size of swamp wallabies affected by fire? Is there a change in habitat use? The research was done at a site burned in March 2012 as part of the Victorian Government program of planned fires. Male and female swamp wallabies were fitted with GPS collars to record their location 5 to 7 times a day. Home ranges of 9 individuals were measured and compared before and after the fire, and during different periods: dawn, day, dusk and night. Data on vegetation structural complexity were collected before and after fire for habitat selection analysis. Results show that there is no difference between the home range size of the collared swamp wallabies before and after the fire event nor at different periods. Data on habitat selection is being analized. These results will help improve ecological and conservation-based fire management. Sources of variation in auditory processing MD Gall 1, W Wilczynski 2, JR Lucas 3 1. Vassar College, 2. Georgia State U, 3. Purdue U In the context of animal behavior, auditory systems have traditionally been viewed as static. Therefore, changes in behavioral responses to acoustic stimuli were thought to be largely a product of functional changes in motivation. However, it has become increasingly clear that auditory systems in fact exhibit remarkable plasticity (particularly reproductively-related plasticity) and that this plasticity may play an important role in determining the behavioral salience of acoustic signals. What factors are responsible for reproductively-related changes in auditory processing? First, I will discuss observations of natural patterns of auditory plasticity. Then, I will discuss the potential sources of variation in auditory processing including steroid hormones, day length, and behavioral experience. Finally, I will discuss the potential for reciprocal interactions between hormones, behavior and the auditory system.
    • Repeatability, Heritability, and Ecology of Antipredator Behavior in the Gartersnake Thamnophis sirtalis EJ Gangloff, MR Barazowski, AS Wendt, AM Bronikowski Iowa State University A persistent question in the study of animal personality is to what extent behavioral phenotypes are genetically canalized or the production of environmental conditions. To examine this question, I quantified the repeatability and heritability of behaviors in the common gartersnake, Thamnophis sirtalis. Captive-born neonates from different geographic regions were raised in a common garden environment and subjected to repeated assays at ages 6 and 32 d to measure response to a simulated attack and latency to flee after the attack. Additionally, the mothers of these offspring were tested in identical assays both pre- and post-parturition. This experimental design allows for the calculation of intraindividual repeatability, geographic effects on behavior, and estimates of heritability from both sibling comparison and parent-offspring regression. I will discuss these results in the context of emerging theoretical predictions about the consistency of individual behaviors. Local Adaptation of Trait Integration: Predicting the Evolutionary Trajectories of Complex Phenotype MJ Garcia, RL Earley University of Alabama An individual’s phenotype results from the interactions of many highly “integrated” traits. A fundamental goal in evolutionary studies is to understand the mechanisms that generate/maintain such connections, and how patterns of integration affect the trajectory of phenotypic evolution. Quantitative genetic theory predicts that links among traits influence the overall phenotypic response to selection - selection acting on one trait may affect the evolution of a second trait if the traits covary genetically. Our study examines the potential for selection to act on multiple traits and their connections in an emerging vertebrate model, the mangrove rivulus fish (Kryptolebias marmoratus). We generated 32 isogenic strains from field caught animals collected from nine populations. Individuals from each strain were raised under common garden conditions. From birth, growth and egg production are monitored regularly. At 11 months of age, baseline hormones are collected and behavioral assays (aggression, risk-taking, exploration) performed. Using a variety of multivariate approaches rooted in quantitative genetics, we explore the mechanisms and evolutionary consequences of trait integration. Temporal organization of traffic on army ant trails S Garnier 1, M Lutz 2, ER Hurme 2, S Leblanc 2, ID Couzin 2 1. New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2. Princeton University The nomadic army ant Eciton burchellii forms long trails of workers that can extend over hundreds of meters into the rainforest. The foraging success of the colony depends largely upon the organization of the intense traffic along these trails. For instance, army ants form separate traffic lanes that reduce interactions between workers moving in opposite directions. They also build living bridges to facilitate the movement of workers over irregular terrain. In a recent study, we showed that the traffic on the trail experiences regular oscillations. Such oscillations are often associated with decreased traffic efficiency in studies of car traffic. Using field experiments and computer modeling, we investigated the origin of these oscillations on army ant trails. In particular we looked at the effect of traffic intensity and bidirectionality on the intensity and frequency of the oscillations. We also studied the traffic dynamics at trail forks and its role in shaping traffic oscillations, and the impact of the oscillations on the colony’s foraging efficiency. The results of our study broaden our understanding of the temporal organization of traffic in social insects and other social species. Quality time: Circadian rhythms and social environment affect male CHC attractiveness in D. serrata SN Gershman 1,2, E Toumishey2, HD Rundle2 1. The Ohio State University at Marion, 2. University of Ottawa If the expression of a sexually selected male trait reliably indicates male quality, it should be costly for males to produce. Consequently, if males can modulate the expression of this costly trait, they should express the trait only when it will improve their reproductive success. In Drosophila serrata, females prefer males that have a specific chemical profile of nine cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs). Female preference shows significant linear selection on male CHCs, and this linear selection gradient can be used to compute a measure of multivariate male attractiveness for each male. In this study, we examined the effect of time of day and social environment on male attractiveness and found that (1) there is a cyclical pattern to male attractiveness that corresponds to both the circadian cycle and female activity, (2) time of day affects how male attractiveness responds to social environment,
    • (3) female CHCs change inversely to male CHCs throughout the 24-hour cycle, and (4) males are more attractive in the presence of females, and in the absence of competitor males. Prior to this study, it was previously unknown that male Drosophila could be adaptively plastic in their expression of CHCs. Smelling the kind dominant male:sexually selected signals in male Nile tilapia fish PC Giaquinto, VS Sugihara, MB de Sá State University of São Paulo Selection imposed by male competition (intrasexual selection) and female choice (intersexual selection) can be con- or discordant. Females may or may not prefer mating with dominant males, and direct costs of interacting with dominant (and possibly more harassing) males could explain avoidance of dominant males. Here, we ask whether Nile tilapia females can select, by chemical cues, male’s aggressive profile, choosing dominant males, more or less aggressive. Nile tilapia is an appropriate model to test this dilemma, showing dominance hierarchy, where dominant males defend territories, build nests, court females and have priority access to mating. Thus, male aggressive profile was identified from male-male competition, submissive male were discarded and dominant males were ranked by agonistic profile and number of aggressive attacks. Then we tested female preferences for either of the two males, more or less aggressive. Females showed a significant preference for chemical cues from dominant male with less aggressive profile. It is argued that females could face increased reproductive costs through injuries related to a rougher courtship behavior of more aggressive dominant males. Effects of immune stress on multimodal sexual signaling and immune function in a wolf spider R Gilbert, C Combs, R Karp, GW Uetz University of Cincinnati Animals must often make trade-offs between development of costly sexual signals and effective immune responses to parasites and pathogens in their environment. We evaluated the effects of immune stress on multimodal sexual signaling in the wolf spider Schizocosa ocreata (Lycosidae). Immature males were infected with a bacterial pathogen (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and assessed at maturity for several fitness-related measures. Adult mass and body condition indices were significantly lower among infected individuals than uninfected (control) individuals. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in male secondary sexual characters (foreleg tufts) was significantly greater in spiders subjected to bacterial infection. Using encapsulation rate as a measure of adult immune function, we found that males infected as juveniles had significantly higher immune function as adults than uninfected males. Moreover, for uninfected spiders, adult encapsulation rate was positively correlated with tuft size, supporting the hypothesis that expression of secondary sexual traits can predict male health and immune function. Female preference in the peacock spider, Maratus volans MB Girard 1, MM Kasumovic 2, DO Elias 1, EB Rosenblum 1 1. University of California, Berkeley, 2. University of New South Wales Jumping spiders of the Maratus genus are exceptionally sexually dimorphic in their appearance and behavior. Male Maratus present females with ornamented “tails” while producing vibratory songs in multimodal courtship displays. Presumably, strong sexual selection, specifically female choice, has played a role in the evolution of these complex courtship signals, although empirically this has yet to be demonstrated. In this study, we performed a series of experiments investigating mating behavior, in particular female choice, in Maratus volans, the peacock spider. Mating trials using laser vibrometry were conducted in a controlled laboratory set-up with randomly paired males and virgin females to elucidate female preferences for male sexual traits across a series of potential mates. We found that a variety of male courtship traits reliably predicted mating success including aspects of vibratory songs. Secondly we found that females rarely mate multiply, and become highly aggressive after accepting a male. Understanding female mating behavior and male traits that predict mating success is key to understanding sexual selection in Maratus and its role in species diversification. Covariation and repeatability of male mating effort and mating preferences in a promiscuous fish. J-GJ Godin, HL Auld Carleton University Our understanding of the importance of male mate choice in driving evolutionary change remains limited compared with that for female mate choice. Theoretically, the evolution of male mate choice is more likely when individual
    • variation in male mating effort and mating preferences exist and positively covary within populations. However, relatively little is known about the nature of such variation and its maintenance within natural populations. Here, using the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata) as a model study system, we report that mating effort and mating preferences in males, based on female body length (a strong correlate of fecundity), positively covary and are significantly more variable among than within subjects. Individual males are thus consistent, but not unanimous, in their mate choice. Both individual mating effort and mating preference were significantly repeatable. These novel findings support the assumptions and predictions of recent evolutionary models of male mate choice, and are consistent with the presence of additive genetic variation for male mate choice and thus with the opportunity for sexual selection on female body size in our study population. Social feedback to plastic song facilitates song learning in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) MH Goldstein, O Menyhart, S Carouso Cornell University The zebra finch, like many songbirds, is thought to learn its song by memorizing it early in development (the sensory period) and later practicing to match the memorized template (the sensorimotor period). However, in this species there is a great deal of overlap between the sensory and sensorimotor periods, which may provide opportunities for social feedback to immature vocalizations to influence song learning. Study 1 was a longitudinal investigation of 13 families, each in a naturalistic social environment. We focused on the structure of social interactions immediately before, during, and after immature vocalizing of juvenile males. We found that nonvocal maternal reactions and paternal song, given contingently on juvenile plastic song, predicted song learning in real time and over developmental time. In Study 2 we played back tutor song to juvenile males either contingently on their plastic song or on a yoked schedule. Males in the contingent group developed song that was significantly more stable than yoked controls. Thus vocal development is an active, socially-embedded process. Plastic song has important functional significance because it is modifiable by the reactions of listeners. Variation in the decay of embryo learned fright responses in threespine stickleback JL Golub 1,2, SA Foster 1 1. Clark U, 2. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Embryonic learning is an ancient and widely distributed trait in threespine stickleback fish that allows individuals to use paired olfactory cues to learn potential heterospecific and conspecific predators, and respond accordingly after hatching. The decay of responses should differ between predators relative to risk, and should be reflected in the loss of learned fright responses. Stickleback embryos were conditioned to heterospecific (prickly sculpin, Cottus asper; or common goldfish, Carassius auratus) or cannibalistic conspecific predator diet cues. Fry were tested weekly with predator cues to determine when learned alarm responses to the three predators were lost posthatching. The learned response to heterospecific predators were not lost, but rather the response to water controls increased over time, until it matched the learned response to these predators. The learned response to conspecific cues was lost at 3 weeks; about the time fry leave the nest and joining schools, relying on social cues from conspecifics. The increase in response to water controls reflects a reduction in the cost of responding to nonthreatening cues (mechanical disturbance from cue release) as fry grow. Quantifying division of labour: a unified framework R Gorelick, S Bertram Carleton University After a decade, we are getting better at quantifying division of labour. Assume that data are given as a contingency table of arbitrary size and even arbitrary dimension, e.g. as with age polyethism, where division of labour depends on individual, task, and age-class. What once seemed like a panoply of disparate methods – entropy, coefficient of variation, etc – now seems like variations on a theme. By suitably changing an objective function, many different measures of division of labour can be conceptualized as the ratio of observed-to-expected. However, for more than a two-dimensional contingency table (i.e. individuals and tasks), to meaningfully quantify division of labour we need to do more than assign a single number to the higher-dimensional contingency table, but also do this for all lower dimensional projections.
    • Seeing With New Eyes In Our Studies of Animal Behavior PA Gowaty UCLA The past, as in “now”, predicts the future. Just as the idea that the animals we watch are Bayesians using demographic and social information to “predict” their fitnesses and adjust their behavior flexibly and adaptively is interesting, a probabilistic approach to predicting a future of our discipline might be interesting. I will present a qualitative model of ecological and social constraints on who will study animal behavior and the species we will be study. Technology has always opened new vistas, but the trick for most of us, will be as it was in the past: To see with new eyes. I shall “predict” the answers to the who, what, when, how, and why questions in one possible scenario of the future of animal behavior, while emphasizing aspects of the study of animal behavior that foster and create what is unique about what we do. Rules of engagement: The self-organization of "wars" by pavement ants MJ Greene University of Colorado Denver Wars occur between societies when members of one society make and carry out plans to kill members of another. The pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum) is a tramp species well known for its ant “wars" in which thousands of workers from two colonies fight. Fighting appears to be ritualized; ants fight by grabbing another ant’s mandibles with its own and pairs undergo what can be described as a “push-of-war” while other ants recruit more workers to the battle. Few ants die during the battle. What are the rules that influence organization of these “wars”? I report that workers discriminate nestmates and non-nestmates by detecting cues coded in the mixture of cuticular hydrocarbons on the cuticle of ants they antennate. Nestmate recognition cues are coded in the relative abundance of methyl-alkane and alkene hydrocarbons. However, detection of cues on the cuticle of non-nestmate ants is not sufficient to stimulate fighting in and of itself. Patterns of recent interactions with nestmate ants and the size of the group of ants fighting influence an ant’s decision to fight. Workers respond to interactions with heterospecific ants using rules that do not depend on group size. Sexual pigmentation predicts reproductive performance in male Yellow Warblers AS Grunst 1, JT Rotenberry 2 1. University of California, Riverside 2. University of Minnesota Males differing in quality and ornamentation may employ distinct strategies with respect to investing in mating versus paternal effort. Since multiple mating often yields high fitness, males of high quality may invest in ornaments and mating over paternal care, while poor quality males may guard a single female and invest paternally. Thus, ornamentation and paternal care may negatively correlate. However, males of high quality may be able to invest highly in mating and paternal effort, and neglecting paternal care might sometimes be maladaptive. In these cases, ornamentation may positively predict paternal care. In yellow warblers (Setophaga petechia), we explored if sexual pigmentation predicts mating effort (song) versus paternal care, and if day in the nesting cycle alters relationships between pigmentation and behavior. Highly pigmented males were not less paternal. Rather, melanin coverage positively predicted incubation stage song rate and late-stage nestling provisioning. Therefore, greater melanism positively predicted overall reproductive performance, but highly melanic males did shift mating and paternal effort across the nesting cycle, as benefits changed. Song complexity predicts parental risk-taking in song sparrows (Melospiza melodia MG Grunst 1, JT Rotenberry 2 1. University of California, Riverside 2. University of Minnesota Sexual ornaments, including song, communicate information regarding genetic and paternal quality. Thus, song complexity may be used by females to assess brood value, and may predict risk-taking for offspring. We hypothesized that song complexity of male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) directly relates to paternal performance and offspring provisioning rates under adult predation pressure, reflecting willingness to risk survival to benefit offspring. Alternatively, song complexity may reflect high genetic quality but low paternal effort, and negatively correlate with feeding under predation risk. Further, females mated to males with complex songs may prioritize offspring care, and reduce feeding less in adult predator presence. Alternatively, the opposite pattern may arise if females mated to males with low song complexity compensate for costs induced by low paternal quality. Song complexity predicted female responses to predation risk, and paternal behavior independent of
    • predation risk. However, repertoire size and syllable number oppositely correlated with behavioral tendencies, suggesting that these two song dimensions communicate different aspects of male quality. Geographical variation in the call sequences of geladas ML Gustison 1, A le Roux, A. 2, P Fashing 3, N Nguyen 3, TJ Bergman 1 1. University of Michigan, 2. University of the Free State, 3. California State University Fullerton Many animals exhibit geographical variation in the acoustic properties of their vocalizations, yet only a handful of studies in birds, bats, and whales have examined geographical variation in the structure of call sequences. Here, we explore population differences in the call sequences of male geladas (Theropithecus gelada), a vocally complex non-human primate. We recorded call sequences from male geladas in two populations 360km apart; the Simien Mountains National Park and the Guassa Community Conservation Area in Ethiopia. We examine whether the call sequences differ in the sequence length, number of different call types, and order of call types. In addition, we examine whether the populations differ in non-vocal social behaviors. Preliminary results suggest that gelada males from the Simien Mountains produce more ‘complex’ sequences (i.e., longer with more call types) that begin with grunts and end with ‘derived’ gelada calls. Also, males from the Simien Mountains spend more time grooming than males from Guassa. These results suggest that primates also exhibit geographical variation in their vocal complexity, which may be mediated by underlying differences in sociality. Northern Cardinals’ Use of the Physically Constrained "Chirr" Song Element SL Halkin 1, DA Enstrom 2 1. Central Connecticut State U, 2. Illinois Natural History Survey, U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Physically constrained displays provide an opportunity for animals to demonstrate their own and judge one another’s physical capacities. Male and female northern cardinals, Cardinalis cardinalis, share a repertoire of songs mainly composed of short, pure-toned, repeated elements, but both sexes sometimes end songs with a much longer and lower-amplitude broad-frequency pulsatile "chirr" element that must be produced during a single exhalation; more rarely, they may sing chirrs partway through songs. Although the physical constraint on chirr duration could seemingly allow assessment by potential mates and rivals, we have found that an individual’s chirrs vary significantly in duration, even between sequential songs. We observed singing male cardinals to determine whether chirr duration is correlated with immediate behavioral context, and have limited evidence that the longest chirrs are mainly given in contexts of a) reunification with a mate that has been absent for +/- 1 hour; b) presence of another female in the territory when the male is with his mate and one or both members of the pair are about to chase her out; and c) shortly before or after territorial chases with other males. Reproductive Consequences of Primary Polygyny in a Harvester Ant Population BR Haney, JH Fewell Arizona State University Primary polygyny, the cooperation of multiple unrelated queens in a social insect colony, has been recently documented in multiple taxa but is poorly understood as a behavioral phenomenon. The harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus has geographically distinct populations dominated by either monogynous (single queen) or polygynous colonies. A crucial period of harvester ant lifecycle occurs during the annual mating flight. Little is known about how cooperative queens divide reproduction or the fecundity costs they suffer when doing so, but this information is vital to understand how this cooperative behavior has evolved and propagated. We examine the consequences of primary polygyny by capturing entire mating flights of monogynous and polygynous P.californicus colonies and comparing the total reproductive output and sex investment. We also use microsatellite markers to analyze per-queen reproductive contribution. Our data indicates a lower per-queen reproductive output as well as a highly male biased sex investment in polygynous colonies, suggesting a considerable fecundity cost to queens that participate in primary polygyny. Dietary nutrient balance influences fitness traits & diet choice in Gryllus veletis field crickets SJ Harrison, SM Bertram, J-G Godin Carleton University Animal behavior & fitness traits are often influenced both by total diet intake & dietary nutrient composition. Using a geometric analysis approach & no-choice diet trials we examined how the ratio of dietary protein (P), carbohydrate (C) & phosphorus (Ph) affected behavior & life history traits in the spring field cricket, Gryllus veletis. We
    • demonstrated that (1) lifespan was longest on low P:C diets, (2) growth was highest on high P:C diets with Ph also positively influencing male growth, (3) mate attraction signalling effort was maximized with either increased P or C intake, & (4) egg production was positively influenced by P, C & Ph intake. We also measured diet choice and found that while Ph intake was not regulated by either sex, P & C intake was tightly regulated with crickets preferentially eating low P:C ratios, & females eating a higher P:C ratio than males. Overall, males & females had different optimal nutrient ratios for maximal reproductive performance, and both sexes selected diets that would maximize both lifespan & reproductive performance. Our study highlights the importance of considering dietary nutrient ratio when examining an organism’s nutritional needs. Canine Conspecific Coprophagia: Defense Against Intestinal Parasites BL Hart 1, A Tran 1, MJ Bain 1 1. University of California–Davis Findings on the behavior of dogs in eating stools of dogs, offers an insight into a seemingly comparable behavior of wolves that one would expect when feces are occasionally left in the den area. The behavior appears to be paradoxical because canids generally defecate away from the den areas, reflecting aversion to conspecific feces, which, in nature, frequently carry intestinal parasites. Based on two large-scale, web-based surveys, such stool eating was found to be common in 16% of dogs and was overwhelmingly concentrated on stools no more than 2 days old. The behavior appeared to be almost impossible to change by behavior modification or by the products marketed for the syndrome. Having ruled out poor den sanitation and compulsive behavior, the conclusion was reached that eating fresh stools deposited in the den area is a type of defense against intestinal parasites because the array of parasite forms in stools, are infective only if post-defecation development occurs – feces are “safe” to consume when just 1-2 days old. We hypothesize that this syndrome is a manifestation of vigilant den sanitation. Limited observations on wolves support this hypothesis. The dominance of seismic signaling and selection for signal complexity in multimodal courtship CJ Vink 2, L Sullivan-Beckers 1, MF Rosenthal 1 1. University of Nebraska, 2. Lincoln Research Centre Schizocosa wolf spiders show tremendous diversity in courtship complexity - different species employ varying numbers of components within and across sensory modalities. Using a comparative approach, we investigate the importance of two signaling modalities in the courtship display of 5 Schizocosa species (3 stridulating/2 drumming). Irrespective of the degree of ornamentation, stridulating species exhibit a dependence on the seismic, but not visual, signaling environment for mating success. Mating was independent of signaling environment for drumming species. We next ask whether the degree to which each species depends upon a signaling modality for mating is correlated with the estimated modality-specific signal complexity. We test two predictions: (i) the importance of seismic signaling is correlated with seismic signal complexity and (ii) the importance of visual signaling is correlated with visual signal complexity. We find that visual signal importance is correlated with visual signal complexity, but no relationship is found between seismic signal importance and complexity. Finally, we find a significant relationship between seismic and visual signal complexity. Neighbor presence and familiarity influences predation defense in a cooperatively breeding cichlid JK Hellmann, IM Hamilton The Ohio State University The surrounding social network can strongly influence individual decision-making by determining the flow and the recipients of information. For territorial organisms, which repeatedly interact with individuals in neighboring groups, the ability to signal their quality to surrounding individuals may be critical in maintaining territorial boundaries and preventing costly physical fights. Considering the potential fitness consequences of these interactions, we expect that individuals will alter their behavior based on their access to surrounding groups. We used a cooperatively breeding cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher, to observe group defense against a heterospecific predator when neighbors were present and when neighbors were absent to examine differences in the quantity and intensity of aggressive interactions. Although the presence of neighbors often reduces predation effort in individuals or pairs, we found that within the context of an territorial group, subordinates were more sensitive to the presence and familiarity of neighbors than dominant breeders. This may indicate that social status influences the interaction between network composition and behavioral decisions.
    • Two tales of one orca mother-calf pair: A methodological comparison HM Hill, C Geraci St. Mary's University The sleep patterns of a killer whale mother-calf pair were investigated following the birth of the calf. Calf watch records collected by Sea World trainers one month pre- and post-parturition were sampled each hour for one of four activity levels recorded for the pair. These activity levels were transformed into swim speeds and matched to data collected from 24-hour video recordings collected during the first month of life. We assessed the reliability of the two coding schemes using the pre-parturition and post-parturition data from the calf watch records and the reliability of the swim speeds derived from the calf watch records to the swim speeds derived from the video footage one-month, post-parturition. The results indicated that the two coding schemes produced similar activity budgets. Swim speeds for the killer whale mother were higher one-month, post-parturition than one-month, preparturition. The results of these analyses suggested that the calf watch records produced swim speeds that generally corresponded to the video records. In summary, these results highlight the importance of descriptive calf watch records and their perceived reliability when compared to video footage. Modality interactions alter call trait preferences in gray tree frogs G Höbel University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Animal displays often comprise various modalities, and the presence of one display component can alter receiver responses to other components. Sometimes additional components merely increase the probability of response, but receivers may also prefer different trait values or show different selectivity depending on whether a component is presented in isolation or as part of a multimodal display. I conducted playback trials with female frogs to test the hypothesis that receiver responses are affected by modality interactions. I obtained preference functions for several call traits under two experimental conditions: (i) unimodal = auditory stimulation only, and (ii) multimodal = auditory + visual stimulation. I describe variation in preference function shape and preference traits (i.e., preferred value, selectivity) to assess whether modality interactions occur, and which aspect of the receiver preference is most strongly affected. I also compare the unimodal and multimodal preferences with the trait distribution of males, to test which preference function best predicts display trait distribution. I discuss the consequences of modality interactions for sexual selection and signal evolution. The socioecology of monk parakeets Elizabeth A. Hobson 1, Michael L. Avery 2, Timothy F. Wright 1 1. New Mexico State U 2. U.S. Department of Agriculture Florida Field Station Many species benefit from social associations, but must balance these benefits with the costs of competition for resources. Although parrots have the potential for complex sociality, little is known about parrot social structure. This project provides some of the first detailed information on parrot sociality. We used observations of social interactions to characterize the socioecology of the monk parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus, using data from two captive groups (n=21 and n=19) held under semi-natural conditions. We tested whether monk parakeets show evidence for high fission-fusion dynamics and dominance hierarchies. First, we developed a method to quantify fission-fusion dynamics to describe patterns in how flocks split and merge over time. Replicate social groups showed consistent relative levels of fission-fusion dynamics. We also found evidence for moderately linear dominance hierarchies in captive groups, although dominance steepness values were low (<0.1). Based on these results, monk parakeet social structure can be categorized as egalitarian. These methods can be used to compare structural features across divergent taxa to understand the evolution of complex sociality. Escalation of vocal aggressive signals: a sequential playback study D Hof, J Podos University of Massachusetts Rival conspecifics often produce sequences of signals as agonistic interactions escalate. Successive signals in sequence are thought to convey increasingly pronounced levels of threat. Here we propose and test a model of aggressive escalation in black-throated blue warblers, presenting subjects with two sequential and increasingly elevated levels of threat. From a speaker outside the territorial boundary we initiated an interaction, and from a second speaker inside the territory, accompanied by a taxidermic mount, we subsequently simulated a territorial intrusion. We predicted that signals produced in response to playback from the boundary speaker would predict
    • signaling patterns to the within-territory speaker, and that signals at each stage would be increasingly reliable predictors of ultimate attack. We found that specific song types (type II songs) produced in response to boundary playback predicted use of soft song in response to within-territory playback. Soft song, in turn, predicted attack of the mount. Use of type II song, by contrast, did not predict eventual attack. These results support the hypothesis that progressive signals in sequences can convey increasing levels of threat. Consequences of auditory system variability for mate choice in frogs KL Hoke Colorado State U Properties of the sensory systems of females may constrain or drive male signal diversification. Sensory systems vary among individuals due to a combination of selection and stochastic changes and are further subject to environmental influences and internal fluctuations due to reproductive condition or developmental stage. Characterizing variability in both peripheral and central sensory systems of females provides novel insights into the evolution of reproductive communication. I highlight work on auditory processing in Physalaemus (Engystomops) frogs. Intra- and interspecific variation in peripheral tuning contribute to differences in call preferences of females and thus to selection on male calls. Restricting variation to the central auditory system, however, may reduce the impacts of changing auditory responses on other behaviors. Early nest environment and genes have lifetime effects on the expression of a colorful sexual signal JK Hubbard 1, BR Jenkins 1,2, RJ Safran 1 1. University of Colorado Boulder, 2. University of Wyoming A central theme of evolutionary research is to understand the source and function of phenotypic variation. For most phenotypic traits, sources of variation can be partitioned into genetic or environmental. Identifying the proportion of variance due to these components allows for predictions regarding phenotypic responses to variable environments and selection to be made. Different models of sexual selection make specific predictions about the relative influence of genes and environment on sexual signals; thus, understanding the predominant source of variation for a sexual signal can provide insight into the mechanism of sexual selection acting on the trait. We explored the relative influence of shared genes and shared environment on the development of melanin-based ventral plumage color in North American barn swallows. We found that color is influenced by both genetic and early nest environmental variation. Moreover, we found that juvenile coloration is highly predictive of adult coloration suggesting that early nest environment has lifelong effects on the expression of ventral plumage color, a trait known to be the target of sexual selection in this subspecies of barn swallows. Oh snap! Signaling, sex and weaponry in snapping shrimp M Hughes 1, T Williamson 1,2, K Hollowell 1, R Vickery 1 1. College of Charleston, 2. Medical University of South Carolina Although sexual dimorphisms in weaponry are typically attributed to intra-sexual selection, such dimorphisms can also result from differential advantages of competition in other (nonsexual) contexts, and/or differential costs of producing and maintaining large weapons. In snapping shrimp (Alpheus spp.), sexual dimorphism in snapping claws – a deadly weapon – is common, with males having larger claws than females. Most species are monogamous, however, and the advantage of larger weaponry in males is not clear. Aggression is also sexually dimorphic, but in the opposite direction: females are more aggressive than males overall (and in both pairing and competitive interactions) and females, but not males, target higher aggression towards opposite-sex opponents. This pattern of sexually dimorphic aggression is inconsistent with intra-sexual selection as the sole explanation for sexually dimorphic weaponry in snapping shrimp. Males and females also differ in the use of the weapon as a signal; here we explore relationships between sexually dimorphic weaponry and sex differences in signaling. Parasite-mediated sexual signaling: what do females gain? A Hund, J Hubbard, R Safran University of Colorado The Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis proposes that host-parasite co-evolution maintains the honesty of sexual traits and predicts that attractive males with the greatest degree of sexual trait expression have lower parasite loads. Accordingly, this hypothesis also predicts that females use these signals as indicators of parasite resistance. Parasites are common in many species and represent a cost to their host as they can limit investment in
    • reproduction and affect breeding success. Using parasite-linked sexual traits in mate selection could confer benefits to females in at least two ways: attractive males could 1) have greater genetic resistance to parasite, and/or 2) offer a lower probability of social transmission of contagious parasites to their mates and offspring in shared nest sites. In a breeding population of North American barn swallows Hirundo rustica in Colorado, I applied a cross-fostering design where I experimentally manipulated parasites in nests to establish the degree to which females use male ventral coloration – a sexual signal in this population of barn swallows - for information about parasite-resistant genotypes or parasite-free environments. How Social Wasps Evolved JH. Hunt North Carolina State University In a conceptual model based on the wasp family Vespidae, the origin of worker behavior, which constitutes the eusociality threshold, is not based on relatedness, therefore the origin of eusociality does not depend on inclusive fitness, and workers at the eusociality threshold are not altruistic. Instead, incipient workers and queens behave selfishly and are subject to direct natural selection. Beyond the eusociality threshold, relatedness enables “soft inheritance” as the framework for initial adaptations of eusociality. At the threshold of irreversibility, queen and worker castes become fixed in advanced eusociality. Transitions from solitary to facultative, facultative to primitive, and primitive to advanced eusociality occur via exaptation, phenotypic accommodation, and genetic assimilation. Roles of behavioral flexibility and developmental plasticity in the evolutionary process exceed those of genotype. Modeling social network dynamics over 22 years in a wild spotted hyena population A Ilany1, KE Holekamp2 1. National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, 2. Michigan State University Understanding the forces shaping the social lives of animals is a central topic in the study of animal behavior. Recent years have seen a surge in the usage of social network analysis to quantify social structures, leading to valuable insights. Nevertheless, most studies have used snapshots of the social network, thus neglecting its temporal dynamics. In this study we modeled social network dynamics in the spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta, using observational data collected during 22 years of field research. We employed the SIENA approach for modeling social network dynamics, using stochastic actor-based models. These models allowed us to estimate the contribution of multiple factors to network changes over various time scales. We classify these factors into three groups: 1) external environmental conditions; 2) a tendency to associate according to individual attributes; and 3) internal network forces. We discuss the implications of our findings for the ecology and evolution of sociality. Sexual signal divergence among Calopteryx damselflies correlated with increased male-male aggression VK Iyengar 1, T Castle 1, SP Mullen 2 1 Villanova University, 2 Boston University Divergence of sexual signals in sympatry can arise as a consequence of 1) inter-specific competition for resources, 2) selection against maladaptive hybridization, or 3) as a result of selection to reduce the rate, intensity, or outcome of interspecific aggression; termed Agonistic Character Displacement (ACD). We investigated the hypothesis that interference competition, in the form of increased male-male aggression, drives the evolution of character displacement in sympatry between Calopteryx aequabilis and C. maculata, two species of North American damselflies that show no evidence of ecological divergence or ongoing hybridization. Overall, we found that interspecific male aggression varied between site, species, and as a function of relative abundance. Specifically, large-spotted C. aequabilis males received increased intra- and interspecific aggression and that aggression against large-spotted males peaked during the middle of the flight season when both species were equally abundant. Based on these results, we suggest that ACD may be a common outcome of the antagonism between interspecific male-male competition and the countervailing force of intraspecific sexual selection. Division of labor by visual subsystems: jumping spiders integrate information from different eyes EM Jakob, SM Long, N Foxworth University of Massachusetts Amherst Jumping spiders view objects in front of them with two different types of eyes. The principal eyes have fixed corneal lenses and tiny retinas at the end of internal moveable tubes. These retinas offer remarkably high spatial acuity, greater than any other land invertebrates. The anterior lateral eyes have a wider angle of view and lower,
    • but still reasonably good, spatial acuity. We present the latest in a series of experiments designed to test how these two types of eyes divide up the acquisition of visual information. To test the ability of each type of eye, we present a new experimental design incorporating eye masking and training spiders to associate an aversive stimulus (vibration) with particular stimuli, and will discuss the role of each eye in assessing the shape of nonmoving stimuli. We will also discuss results from experiments on biological motion, now in progress. These results, in conjunction with previous work, demonstrate that some visual information is in the sole domain of one type of eye, whereas other stimuli need both eyes in order to be properly interpreted. The wasp nest as a substrate for vibrational communication JM Jandt 1, AL Toth 1, RL Jeanne 2, JC Hermanson 3 1. Iowa State U, 2. U Wisconsin, 3. USDA Forest Products Lab, Madison Airborne vibrational signals (i.e. auditory communication) can readily be intercepted with no guarantee they will reach the intended target. Vibrational signals sent along a substrate can be transmitted with less chance of eavesdropping and greater assurance that the signal will reach the intended receiver. The use of substrate to transmit signals has received more attention as technological advancements to measure sensitive signals have shown they may be ubiquitous across insect taxa, particularly among ‘true bugs’ (order: Hemiptera). Polistes wasps (order: Hymenoptera) use wood pulp to construct their nest structures, and adults will periodically drum their antennae or vibrate their abdomen against the nest substrate. Could wasps be using the nest as a substrate to transmit vibrational signals to nestmates or larvae? We present data on the natural vibrational frequency of nests from two species of Polistes, and describe how signal patterns of vibrations sent throughout the nest vary over time and across species. We propose that antennal drumming signals are performed at a consistent frequency that may vary across species, and that larvae are the intended receivers of these signals. Novelty Preference in the Female Guppy (Poecilia reticulata): From Molecules to Behavior I Janowitz & KA Hughes Florida State University Contrary to what most people think, high levels of inactivity are common in most animals. This is also true in archetypal hard workers: social insects. Although little is known about this important behavior, we show that individual ants differ consistently in their level of inactivity, and that inactivity levels observed in the lab are comparable to those observed in the field, and thus not an artifact. However, we still know very little about the adaptive function of individual-level inactivity. Here we characterize highly inactive workers and contrast them to highly active workers. We use behavioral observations and spatial tracking to investigate common behaviors of highly inactive workers, but also look at trends in individual variation throughout the colony. Our results show that highly inactive workers spend a disproportionate amount of their active time on brood care and grooming compared to active workers, and tend be further away from other workers than active ants are. This shows that inactive workers do not conform to standard models of division of labor and spatial fidelity, suggesting that inactivity is a behavior in its own right that should be integrated with these models. The behavioral stoichiometry of cannibalism in black widows JC Johnson, P Trubl Arizona State University Cannibalism, or predation of a conspecific, has long been a topic of interest for behavioral ecologists. In particular, researchers have aimed to understand the functional significance of cannibalism. While many hypotheses have been put forth and tested, perhaps the most intuitive idea is that conspecific predation may be part of an optimal foraging strategy for many species. Yet preying on a conspecific can be dangerous and costly, and many studies have failed to find obvious material foraging benefits to cannibalism. Here we present data to suggest that the nutritive benefits to cannibalism may only be apparent if one considers the qualitative contribution of conspecific prey. Our data suggest that cannibalistic black widow spiders have significantly higher levels of Phosphorus (but not Nitrogen) when compared to non-cannibalistic counterparts. We discuss the implications of these novel findings, and also discuss stoichiometric limitations routinely experienced by lab-reared animals.
    • Characterizing bird song diversity between individuals and populations: a computational approach. C Ju, FC Geller, DC Lahti Queens College, CUNY Bird song is a powerful model system in behavioral biology, especially for learning and cultural evolution. Nevertheless, quantitative analysis of bird song structure is still in its infancy. Here we apply a novel computational approach based on image analysis to quantitatively describe the complex song of the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). To this end, we first recorded over a thousand songs from birds at 50 locations around New York City. We precisely separated bird signals from the background noise before producing spectrograms, summarized songs as sets of shape-related features, and performed automatic classification of syllable types by cluster analysis. By this approach, we classified roughly a hundred predominant syllable types in our sample and defined variants of each. Syllables tended to be arranged in songs in nonrandom "chunks", and syllable composition of songs varied between individuals according to geographic distance. Using this program with a complex song such as that of the house finch indicates its versatility; such quantitative analysis of vocalizations can lead to more precise hypothesis testing in a variety of taxa and research areas in behavioral biology. Effects of climate and food supplementation on hormones and reproductive effort in a migratory bird SA Kaiser 1,2 TS Sillett 3 MS Webster 1,2 1. Cornell U 2. Cornell Lab of Ornithology 3. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Behavioural plasticity can allow organisms to adjust to changing environmental cues that regulate reproduction. However, little is known about whether changing resource conditions will affect the endocrine mechanisms underlying adaptive behavioural plasticity. We experimentally demonstrate the effects of climate and food on the endocrine physiology and reproductive effort of Setophaga caerulescens in low and high quality habitats in New Hampshire. In warmer, food-poor sites, food supplementation influenced male mating effort (song rate), but not parental effort, although fed males appeared to benefit indirectly from access to food through increased female parental care. During their social mate’s fertile stage, fed males were in better body condition and had lower corticosterone levels than control males. Food supplementation did not affect androgens, although, males in foodrich sites had higher androgen concentrations than males in food-poor sites, and androgens were positively related to song rate. These results indicate plasticity in hormones and reproductive effort in response to resource conditions, and also suggest a role for food in mediating hormone-regulated reproductive effort. Life in an aphid colony: Foraging, predation risk, and transgenerational behavioral plasticity CN Keiser 1,2; EB Mondor 2 1. University of Pittsburgh, 2. Georgia Southern University Organisms attempt to optimize foraging by maximizing resource acquisition while minimizing predation risk. Here, we assess the life history and predation risk consequences of within-leaf feeding site choices in pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Development time and fecundity were identical for individuals feeding at different leaf sites. Predation risk, however, was greatest for aphids feeding nearest the leaf petiole for foliar foraging predators, but not for parasitoids. Thus, feeding near the leaf petiole provides no individual life history benefits, and exposes the aphid to increased predation risk. In addition, the offspring of pre-reproductive individuals that were exposed to the alarm pheromone (E)-β-Farnesene altered their feeding site choices relative to the location of the maternal aphid. Offspring of alarm pheromone-treated aphids occupied “safer” feeding sites further from the leaf petiole or on other leaves in the host plant. Therefore, a reliable cue of increased predation risk induced transgenerational plasticity in feeding site choices in naïve offspring. Animal vocal sequences and their statistical properties: a cross-taxa comparison A Kershenbaum National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis Many animal species produce vocalisations that are made up of a sequence of stereotyped elements. In some species, the sequences consist of a small number of motifs that are repeated over and over with slight variation. In other species, the vocal sequences appear more random. Understanding the statistical processes from which these sequences are generated can shed light both on the proximal role of sequences in inter-individual signalling, and on the ultimate (evolutionary) process of syntactic cognition – an essential precursor of linguistic ability. I present a statistical comparison of the vocal sequences of species from widely varying taxa, including Bengalese finches, free-tailed bats, and rock hyraxes. Different statistical analyses uncover different features of the properties
    • of the signal sequence. For many species, the most commonly used model of vocal sequence production, the Markov chain, poorly describes the sequence repertoire, whereas other models such as the renewal process, better capture the statistical properties of the sequence. From this, we can draw important conclusions about the mechanisms of information encoding and decoding in animal vocal cognition. Social foraging strategies and acquisition of novel foraging skills in wild Arabian babblers. O Keynan 1,2. AR Ridley 2,3. A Lotem 1 1. Tel Aviv University, 2. Macquarie University, 3. University of Western Australia Social foraging strategies and their interaction with learning and innovation abilities have been studied extensively in flocking birds, but their importance for cooperatively breeding birds has been relatively unexplored. We studied social foraging strategies and the acquisition of a novel foraging skill in 17 groups of wild, cooperatively breeding, Arabian babblers (Turdoides squamiceps). We used a foraging grid of 96 feeding wells that was provided to the birds in the field, allowing them to search for food (produce) or join other birds (scrounge). Young males scrounged significantly more than dominant males and females. However, scrounging was not related to poor learning ability or neophobia, because almost all individuals who learned a new foraging skill in the second experiment (removing a rubber lid to reach food) were young (<2 years). In this second experiment young individuals spent longer time on the grid than adults, suggesting that their ability to acquire a new skill may be related to higher motivation. Finally, birds that didn't learn scrounged on the feeding wells opened by young, suggesting that the ability of young helpers to solve novel tasks may benefit the group. Searching for evidence of runaway sexual selection in bird illustrations and museum specimens RE Koch, GE Hill Auburn University The runaway sexual selection model proposes that arbitrary female preference can escalate to drive a male display to a novel and sometimes extreme form in a short period of time. The actual speed of such trait change has never been stated specifically, but it is always presented as much faster than that of traits evolving through natural selection. Many changes in morphological traits have been documented in natural systems on a time scale of decades; we can therefore expect a runaway process to produce novel ornamental traits at least that rapidly. Though the runaway model has been validated by mathematical simulation, no empirical study to date has shown clear evidence of the process in action. To search for the extravagant changes expected from the runaway process, we examined bird illustrations from the past 100-5000 years and museum skins from the past 150 years and we compared the traits on these birds to those of their modern conspecific counterparts. To date we have found no cases of extreme and rapid change in sexually selected traits in any species of bird. Acorns and the demography of the cooperatively-breeding acorn woodpecker WD Koenig 1, EL Walters 2 1. Cornell University, 2. Old Dominion University Although largely insectivorous, acorn woodpeckers are highly dependent on acorns, which they store in large numbers as the crop matures in the fall and eat as needed throughout the winter and subsequent spring. Here we summarize the effects of the acorn crop, a resource that varies considerably from year to year, on the demography of acorn woodpeckers based on 30 years of data from Hastings Reservation in central coastal California. The size of the acorn crop, the diversity of oaks available to the birds, and the length of time acorns remained on the trees have significant effects on the reproductive success, survivorship, and subsequent population structure of this cooperatively-breeding species. This strong dependence on a variable resource that is relatively easy to quantify provides an opportunity for better understanding of the controversial relationship between cooperative breeding, ecological constraints, and resource variability. Sociability and the ontogeny of courtship skills in female Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater). GM Kohn Indiana University Individuals often exhibit predictable variation in their social tendencies over time and across contexts, or sociability. In juveniles early variation in sociability may influence the ontogeny of courtship skills by exposing young individuals to different levels of contact with conspecifics. We performed two studies to investigate how juvenile sociability reflects the emergence of courtship behaviors needed to both maintain pair bonds and successfully
    • reproduce. In the first study we used a fission-fusion perturbation on a fall flock of juvenile females and males, and recorded social interaction patterns across contexts. All individuals were then observed the following breeding season, where we recorded male singing behavior, female chatter vocalizations and pair-bond status. We found that juvenile females who consistently engaged in more social interactions during the fall were also more likely to be pair-bonded, and respond to song displays using a chatter vocalization during the spring. Our next study followed these females into their second breeding season within a larger mixed age-sex flock. Here we found that females who responded to more songs with response chatters were more likel Spatial binding of multimodal courtship signals in a wolf spider, Schizocosa ocreata EC Kozak, GW Uetz University of Cincinnati Cognitive integration of information transmitted in more than one sensory mode (cross-modal integration) is essential for accurate perception of complex signals, and may have fitness consequences, i.e., females must be able to determine direction of male signals, and discriminate between multiple sources. In some vertebrate species, perceptual coupling of multimodal signals by receivers depends on precise spatial and/or temporal synchrony of modes. We used video/vibratory playback to examine the effect of spatial separation on isolated signal modes (visual and vibratory) from multimodal courtship of male Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders on female detection and response. Spiders respond to spatially distant signals in different modes (90°-180° separation) as if they were from different individuals, but appear to treat more spatially congruent signals (0°- 45° separation) as if arising from a single individual. Results suggest spiders have the ability to perceptually bind signals from spatially close sources as multimodal, as well as discriminate individual modes from more disparate locations. Elevation related differences in exploration and social dominance in mountain chickadees DY Kozlovsky, CL Branch, CA Freas, VV Pravosudov University of Nevada, Reno Environmental differences might be expected to generate differential selection pressures leading to adaptive divergence. In mountain chickadees, elevation-related environmental differences might produce such divergence in memory, which is used to recover caches, and in the hippocampus. Indeed, we previously showed differences in spatial memory and the hippocampus in chickadees along an elevation gradient. While these results indirectly suggest that these differences are a result of natural selection, it is important to document whether there are mechanisms that minimize gene flow between elevations despite small spatial scale. Here we report that chickadees from high elevations explored a novel environment slower than low elevation birds. Furthermore, chickadees from high elevations were socially subordinate to chickadees from low elevations in pair-wise interactions. Our results provide further support to the hypothesis that elevation-related differences in environment are associated with divergence in chickadees by showing that these differences extend to exploration behavior while differences in social dominance suggest a mechanism that might enforce such divergence. Indirect genetic effects, genotype-environment interactions, and social behavior in G. holbrooki B Kraft, E Williams, K Hughes Florida State University Behavior, like many phenotypic traits, is most likely determined by both genes and the environment. However, measuring influences such as gene-environment interactions (GEI’s) and indirect genetic effects (IGE’s) in a social context is challenging. Most natural systems encompass a variety of genotypes in infinite social environments. IGE’s, or the effects produced when one individual’s genotype serves as the environment for another, and GEI’s can alter both behavior and fitness in a social context. The eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) is a tractable system for studying these interactions. Males exhibit one of two genetically determined color patterns: mottled or silver. These morphs are linked to individual male behavior as well as alternative physiological and ecological environments. We conducted a field experiment characterizing the social structure and composition of wild G. holbrooki. We addressed GEI's by characterizing morph responses to predator cues. We began a study measuring changes in aggressive behavior throughout development. Combined, these experiments indicate that G. holbrooki is a useful system for evaluating IGEs and GEI’s.
    • Do social network connections matter for corvid learning? IG Kulahci 1, C Schwab 2, DI Rubenstein 1, T Bugnyar 2 1. Princeton University, 2. University of Vienna We investigated the role of social connections in learning. Learning is affected by several factors like age, sex, motivation, cognitive abilities, and personalities. Besides these traits, it is assumed that social bonds and connections affect who learns from whom and when. We thus predict that individuals who are socially connected to those who have information should acquire this information faster than those who are not connected. Ravens (Corvus corax) and crows (Corvus corone) are ideal systems to test this prediction due to their cognitive abilities and their complex social bonds that are formed only with some individuals in non-breeder flocks, providing us with the social heterogeneity that is essential for determining the role of social connections in learning. We seeded novel information into the group by training one bird on a novel task, and tracked the timing and the order in which the task-solving ability spread in the group. We combined this learning experiment with social network analysis in three general categories (association, affiliative interactions, agonistic interactions), and will present the effect that the connections in these social networks have on learning. Divergent sexual selection via male competition: ecology is key ACR Lackey, JW Boughman Michigan State University Sexual selection and ecological differences are important drivers of the formation of new species (i.e., speciation). Much research has focused on female choice, yet the role of male competition in speciation has been understudied. Using stickleback fish, we find that different mating habitats alter selection on male traits through male competition in ways that can affect speciation. In mixed habitat (vegetated and open), selection favors two trait combinations of male body size and nuptial color: large with little color and small with lots of color. This matches what we see in reproductively isolated stickleback species, suggesting male competition could promote trait divergence and reproductive isolation. In contrast, when only open habitat exists, selection favors one trait combination, large with lots of color, which would hinder trait divergence and reproductive isolation. Other behavioral mechanisms in male competition that might promote divergence, such as avoiding aggression with heterospecifics, are insufficient to maintain separate species. This work highlights the importance of mating habitats in male competition for both sexual selection and speciation. Egg variation and defenses against brood parasitism in the Rüppell’s weaver DC Lahti City University of New York Bird species vary widely in the strategies they use to avoid or counteract brood parasitism, and in the extents to which these strategies are developed or refined. Can a particular strategy be predicted on the basis of a species’ ecology or life history, or the intensity of brood parasitism? Or are there simply multiple equivalent ways to solve the same problem? The first step towards addressing such general questions is to assess the defensive traits of several species subject to brood parasitism, preferably closely related species. The African Ploceus weavers parasitized by the diederik cuckoo Chrysococcyx caprius are a case in point. The well-studied village weaver (P. cucullatus) is expert at egg recognition and rejection, facilitated by high egg appearance variation. Examination of a less widely distributed relative, Rüppell’s weaver (P. galbula) shows that its defensive traits appear to be on the same trajectory as the village weaver but at a less advanced stage. Relating defenses to more basic speciesspecific traits and the extent of current brood parasitism may provide clues as to why species differ in their defensive traits. Integration of genetic factors in the learning and production of canary song PC Mundinger*(deceased), D Lahti City University of New York Learned bird song is influenced by inherited predispositions. The canary is a model system for the interaction of genes and learning on behavior, especially because some strains have undergone selection regimes with respect to song. Crossing and backcrossing canaries that had been artificially selected to sing at different pitches resulted in seven distinct genetic groups. Raising these birds in the laboratory and training them on an identical range of songs revealed inherited influences on song learning and production. Individuals learned and produced song with surprising consistency within genetic groups and with notable differences between groups. Particular phenotypic
    • differences could be traced to autosomal and sex-linked genetic factors. These results challenge the classic ideas that genetic changes at different loci lead to distinct phenotypic changes, and that genetic predispositions affect learning in simple and general ways. In these canaries, different combinations of genetic changes were associated with the same phenotypic effect; and predispositions were remarkably specific, such as a tendency to learn and sing one song element rather than another. Seasonality of male mate choice in the nest-brooding Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) LH LaPlante, K Dakoulas Saint Anselm College Male mate choice can evolve when females vary in quality (e.g. fecundity) and males have mating limitations (e.g. parental care). Pumpkinseed are nest-brooding freshwater fish with exclusive paternal care. They breed May August and then endure long periods of starvation during winter months. We predicted 1) males would prefer large, more fecund, females to small females at the beginning and middle of the breeding season and show no size discrimination at the end of the season when costs for being choosy are outweighed by the need to increase energy reserves in preparation for winter, and 2) dominant nesting males (with a brood) would prefer large females, and subordinate nesting males (without a brood) would show no size discrimination. Mate choice trials took place in natural ponds in New Hampshire, USA. Prediction 1 was supported and prediction 2 partially supported. Unexpectedly, male preference for large females was independent of nest status (presence or absence of a brood). We discuss how tradeoffs between current and future reproductive success contribute to the seasonality of male mate choice, and how social status of nesting males may explain their preference for large females. Temporal Carry-Over Effects of Perceived Predation Risk on Reproductive Strategy J. Laskowski 1, J.J. Fontaine 1,2 1. Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, University of Nebraska-Lincoln 2. U.S. Geological Survey Predation risk influences reproductive trade-offs by shifting prey behavior, physiology and life-history expression. Recent studies show that the perception of risk alone (in the absence of actual risk) can shift prey phenotypic expression, though the long-term implications are largely unknown because actual risk and the perception of risk are difficult to separate in the natural world. Hunted populations of ring-necked pheasants provide a unique opportunity to separate actual risk from perceived risk because while mortality is limited to males, both sexes are exposed to cues indicative of predation risk. I am assessing the long-term effects of perceived predation risk on reproductive expression in female pheasants (eg., clutch size, egg mass, lay date, incubation rhythms, body condition) and exploring whether hen corticosterone concentration drives phenotypic responses. Preliminary results indicate that hunting pressure is positively correlated with hen body condition, but despite being in better condition, hens on heavily hunted sites produce smaller clutches. This research will further our understanding of how perception alone alters animal behavior, physiology and life-history. A test of status badge reliability in Mountain white-crowned sparrows ZM Laubach 1,2, DT Blumstein 2,3, LM Romero 4, G Sampson 1, J Foufopoulos 1,2 1 U Michigan, 2 Rocky Mountain Biol Lab, 3 UCLA, 4. Tufts U Status badges mediate intraspecific interactions, yet the reliability of these signals is uncertain. We tested the reliability of the proportion of crown that was white (crown-white) in mountain white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys oriantha; MWCS) during the breeding season. Morphological and physiological characteristics were measured in 178 male MWCS. We presented territory-holding males with white-enhanced and white-reduced decoys and recorded behaviors in paired trials. In a subsample, we manipulated crowns to simulate bluffed whiteenhanced or white-reduced badges; corticosterone concentrations were measured before and after manipulations. We found a positive association between crown-white and tarsus length, an established indicator of resource holding potential. Additionally, males responded more aggressively towards white-enhanced than white-reduced decoys. After displaying bluffed signals, white-enhanced birds had higher baseline corticosterone levels and an attenuated stress response, whereas white-reduced birds had similar concentrations to controls. These findings indicate that crown-white is a reliable status badge in male MWCS during the breeding season.
    • Cooperative Nest Construction is Maintained by the Acquisition of Indirect Benefits GM Leighton 1 University of Miami The evolutionary maintenance of large-scale cooperative behaviors presents a conundrum for biologists: individuals are expected to exploit the cooperative efforts of others, yet cooperative behaviors persist in nature. Especially susceptible forms of cooperative behavior are those behaviors that maintain communal goods. I investigated a behavior that maintains a communal good in a little-studied system, the cooperative nest construction behavior of sociable weavers (Philetairus socius). The goal of the study was to elucidate the selective mechanisms that stabilize this behavior in the wild. Behavioral observations, RAD-tag sequencing data, and other lines of evidence suggest the importance of kin selection in maintaining cooperative nest construction behavior in wild populations of sociable weavers. These results provide useful inter-species comparisons that test the generality of evolutionary mechanisms argued to be important for maintaining cooperation in natural systems. Matching data to theory – Is egg-eating in the ant Camponotus floridanus worker-policing? J Liebig, D Moore Arizona State University The major feature of eusociality is reproductive division of labor. In the eusocial Hymenoptera, conflicts over reproduction between the principal egg-layers (usually the queens) and the subordinate helpers (usually the workers) or among the latter sometimes exist. Worker policing hypothesis predicts mutual control of reproduction by workers under certain conditions. In the ant Camponotus floridanus, workers destroy worker-laid eggs in their colony which could be interpreted as worker-policing. However, the low likelihood of worker egg-laying in a queenright colony suggests that workerpolicing may not explain the observed egg-eating behavior. We conducted egg-learning experiments to see whether egg-eating is part of a general egg identification mechanism. We found that the workers’ previous egg experience strongly affected egg acceptance. Workers learn to recognize the eggs present in their colony and eat unfamiliar eggs, unless the unfamiliar eggs originated from highly fertile queens. Discrimination against worker-laid eggs in colonies with a highly fertile queen may indeed be based on a general egg recognition behavior that prevents mistaking fertile eggs as a food source. Third Party Interactions and their Implications in Neolamprologus pulcher IY Ligocki, IM Hamilton Ohio State University In cooperatively breeding systems, individuals may perform behaviors that are cooperative, whilst still having opportunities to gain direct fitness benefits within and beyond their own social group. Conflict emerges in these systems when the optimal social environments for different group members do not align. We describe the implications of this conflict in light of differences in power (powerful individuals being those who receive relatively frequent submissive behaviors). We hypothesize that individuals wielding greater power within groups are able to influence not only their social interactions, but also the interactions of other group members in ways that increase their own fitness. We examine the implications of these third-party interactions in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher. We find that differences in power between dominant breeding individuals influence and are influenced by the presence and sex of subordinate group members and potential joiners. Rapid skin darkening as a signal of submission in veiled chameleons RA Ligon, KJ McGraw Arizona State University A complete understanding of the consequences and mechanisms of agonistic encounters requires a more balanced perspective that includes knowledge of how losing animals behave during these encounters and recover after them. Here, we use a series of staged agonistic trials between adult male veiled chameleons Chamaeleo calyptratus to test the hypothesis that rapid skin darkening serves as a signal of submission. Concordant with the idea that rapid darkening is a signal of submission, we found that darkening was more common among losers than winners and that losers darkened over the course of aggressive trials while winners brightened. Additionally, aggression levels increased for losers and winners prior to the onset of darkening behavior by the eventual loser, but both chameleons reduced aggression after the losing chameleon began to darken. Lastly, we found that the
    • degree of color change exhibited by individual chameleons was tied to the net aggression (aggression delivered minus aggression received) experienced during a trial and that losing chameleons receiving high levels of aggression darkened to a greater extent than individuals receiving less aggression. Testing two functional hypotheses for song-type matching DM Logue, DA Pereira, O Medina, & HA Schraft University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Song-type matching has long been viewed as a signal of aggressive intent, but recent studies cast doubt on that interpretation. An alternative hypothesis is that matching allows eavesdroppers to better assess singers’ relative performance. We conducted a playback experiment on male Adelaide’s warbler (Setophaga adelaidae) to test key predictions of both hypotheses. We first broadcast three song-types that occurred in the subjects’ repertoires. One song-type was digitally accelerated, one was decelerated, and the third served as a control. Singing speed is a salient aspect of song performance, so if song-type matching accentuates relative performance, subjects should preferentially match slow songs and avoid matching fast songs. Those predictions were upheld. In the second part of the experiment, we presented subjects with a taxidermic mount. The aggressive intent hypothesis was invoked to predict that males who attacked the mount would match song more than those that did not. That prediction was not supported by the data. We conclude that Adelaide’s warblers match song-types to influence the relative assessment of their singing performance and not to signal aggressive intent. Song function in Grasshopper Sparrows: song patterning and what we can learn from aberrant song B Lohr University of Maryland Baltimore County Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) produce two acoustically distinct song types: “buzz” song and “warble” song. Thirty long-term autonomous recording units were deployed in order to record the song output of males at the Chester River Field Research Station (CRFRS) in eastern Maryland during the summers of 2011 – 2012. The number of buzz, warble, and combined songs were tallied and mapped onto specific periods of the female breeding cycle (egg-laying phase, hatching, etc.). Buzz songs predominated early in each breeding cycle, with warble or combined songs highest in frequency between hatching and fledging. Buzz songs generally exhibit little geographic variation in overall acoustic structure, though occasionally a bird is discovered producing an aberrant song. One such individual appeared for four consecutive years at the CRFRS site. This individual held a territory each year, but was paired and bred successfully during only one breeding cycle one year. During this cycle, the bird produced a normal warble song. These results may lead to a better understanding of the role of song in this species, in particular warble song, whose function remains enigmatic. Signals and individual variation in sensory systems Jeffrey Lucas1, Kelly Ronald1, Megan Gall 2, Ken Henry1 1. Purdue U, 2. Vassar College The theoretical analysis of mate choice has typically focused on the evolution of male mating signals. The study of aspects of the receiver’s role in the evolution of mating signals has focused on the ability of females to process these signals. However, female sensory biology is usually taken as a fixed property of the population, which allows an emphasis on the signal itself. The problem is that individuals are likely to vary, sometimes substantially, in their processing of signals. I will illustrate some of these patterns with results on peripheral processing of auditory signals. This variation in the sensory system can potentially influence our understanding of the evolution of mating signals because sensory variation functionally induces variation in the capacity of a signal to convey information. When should birds use badges of status versus individual recognition in social conflicts? BE Lyon 1, AS Chaine 2, D Shizuka 3 1 Univ of California, Santa Cruz 2 CNRS France, 3 Univ of Nebraska Many organisms display multiple signals. Although multiple signals have received intense interest in the context of sexual selection, they have been virtually ignored in non-breeding situations, possibly because these contexts are thought to be simpler and require less information. We investigated the use two distinct plumage patches as multiple signals in a wintering population of golden crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia atricapilla. Each of two crown patches serves as an independent badge of status, and each predicts dominance at different levels of aggressive
    • escalation. Experimental plumage manipulations confirm that each plumage patch has an independent and striking effect on social dominance between unfamiliar birds. In contrast, plumage manipulations do not alter social dominance when birds are familiar with each other, which implies that individual recognition is more important than badges within stable social groups. These results provide some of the first evidence for multiple status signals in a non-breeding context, and they show that use of badges depends on the social context. We argue that multiple signals should be quite common outside of breeding contexts. Cool hotshot stunts: extrapair mating and clustered territories in blue-black grassquits RHF Macedo1, L Manica1, J Graves2, J Podos3 1. Univ de Brasilia, 2. Univ St. Andrews, 3. Univ Massachusetts Aggregated clustering of breeding territories is common in many taxa, and traditional explanations rely upon resource distribution, predator avoidance and interactions with conspecifics. An alternative explanation for clustered breeding in socially monogamous species, the hidden lek hypothesis, is based on behavioral patterns of females seeking extrapair copulations from selected males. The conceptual framework for this hypothesis suggests four evolutionary mechanisms, which have rarely been examined empirically. I will present results from a study of blue-black grassquits, a Neotropical passerine, where we tested two of the conceptual models: the hotshot and female preference models. Using behavioral and molecular parentage data, we found partial support for the predictions of the hotshot model, namely that females prefer males that establish their territories earlier, and which also happen to exhibit more exuberant sexual attributes, e.g. higher courtship leap displays. These males had higher probabilities of siring extrapair young. We found no evidence for the female preference model, which predicted that males in clusters would have higher pairing success than solitary males. Molecular basis for prey relocation in viperid snakes SP Mackessy 1, AJ Saviola 1, D Chiszar 2, C Busch 2 1. University of Northern Colorado, 2 University of Colorado Boulder Predators utilize a broad arsenal of behaviors and weaponry for overcoming fractious and potentially dangerous prey. In response, defenses may evolve among prey that decrease predatory success, leading to an evolutionary arms race whose dynamics change over time. Among snakes, a chemical mode of dispatching prey, venom, is commonly utilized to obtain prey rapidly and with minimal contact. Venoms contain a variety of protein, peptide and small organic compounds. One of these protein families, the disintegrins, are common in viperid venoms and disrupt cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Here we show that disintegrins are used by rattlesnakes to tag prey chemically, allowing for relocation after envenomation. Enzymatic and other major protein components of size exclusion-fractionated Crotalus atrox (Western Diamondback) venom had no effect on discrimination of envenomated vs. non-envenomated prey by snakes. A major biological role of venom disintegrins is to allow these strike-and-release predators to relocate envenomated prey effectively. Our results demonstrate unequivocally that venom components can have important biological roles which extend far beyond their apparent pharmacology. New Insights into male mate choice behaviour using the western black widow spider EC MacLeod, MCB Andrade U of Toronto Scarborough Mate choice among males is relatively understudied, despite recent evidence supporting its ubiquity. Field based research is necessary to gain insight into this behaviour as the costs and benefits of choice may be altered by the conditions animals experience in their natural environment. Using the western black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus, I investigated male mate choice and the advantage of mating with females that differ in their potential to deliver fitness benefits to males in the wild. Males were found to be preferentially attracted to larger, high-diet virgin females over females that were smaller due to a lower diet, or having been previously mated, or both. Through a three-year field study on females I found that males likely benefit from selecting larger/high diet females, as many smaller females fail to deposit egg sacs. My work suggests that male choice may be promoted due to high costs of random mating for males, and that this behavior may evolve despite inconsistent benefits from high quality females. Together, these field experiments contribute to a more complete view of mate choice.
    • Poecilia latipinna: The cost of living in a sexual harassment environment AM Makowicz, I Schlupp University of Oklahoma Sexual conflict can lead to individuals evolving behaviours to circumvent preferences of the opposite sex. For example, females have been shown to adjust their behaviours depending on the risk of sexual harassment. In the present study we investigated the effects of sexual harassment in sailfin mollies, Poecilia latipinna, on both females and males depending on the level of male presence to which they were exposed. We exposed females to four levels of male presence (which we assumed to be correlated with intensity of sexual harassment): (1) no harassment (four females); (2) low male presence (one male with three females); (3) moderate male presence (two males with two females); and (4) high male presence (three males with one female). We measured sexual harassment as male sexual behaviours received by the females. The cost of sexual harassment on both males and females was measured as the overall change in body Trade-offs and constraints within an acrobatic mating display LT Manica1, RHF Macedo1, A Donoghue2, J Graves3, J Podos2 1 Universidade de Brasília, 2 University of Massachusetts Amherst, 3 University of St. Andrews Trade-offs in multimodal signals may involve energetic, biomechanical or physiological conflicts. We tested for trade-offs in blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina) courtship displays, which comprise either only vocalizations (incomplete displays) or vocalizations and synchronized leap flights (complete display). We assessed trade-offs within (motor traits) and across modalities (motor and acoustic traits), using video and audio recordings across three breeding seasons. We found that leap height and duration were positively correlated, and that rotation angle and leap duration were negatively correlated for males leaping lower. A constraint also occurred for males in poor body condition, who decreased leap height as they increased the proportion of complete displays. Our results suggest trade-offs between aerial acrobatic movements and energetic investment in a multimodal courtship display. We believe that the complex acrobatic display of blue-black grassquits is critically important in a sexual selection context, and may be specifically targeted by female choice. Haven for the night: Sleeping site selection in wild baboons (Papio cynocephalus) AC Markham 1 1. Princeton U, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Understanding the factors influencing resource selection is a central topic in behavioral ecology. According to the major hypotheses about sleeping site use, site quality is predicted to decline as a function of nights of sequential occupancy. This in turn increases the probability of switching to another site. I assessed use of multiple sleeping sites by 5 baboon social groups to evaluate how sites were exploited at both the population and group level. Of 126 sleeping sites used by the study population over ~900 nights of observation, 10 sites were used more than 100 times; these preferred sites accounted for ~60% of all known sleep locations. On average, groups left sleeping sites before 3 nights of consecutive use and delayed site reuse for over 37 nights. However, asynchronous sharing of sites by groups resulted in short time intervals (<3 nights) until preferred sites were reused at the population level. The near continuous occupation of these sites implies that groups risk detection by predators, parasitic infection, and local forage depletion due to the use of sites by others. These findings highlight the importance of evaluating resource use at multiple levels of social organization. Male and Female Contributions to Behavioral Isolation in Darters MD Martin, TC Mendelson U of Maryland Baltimore County Darters comprise a group of over 200 species of fish, the majority of which are sexually dichromatic. Males in these species express nuptial coloration, and closely related species differ primarily in these male color patterns. Behavioral isolation is an important isolating mechanism between species and color differences contribute to behavioral isolation in a pair of sympatric darter species. The current work addresses behavioral isolation across 8 allopatric species pairs of darters and the contributions of behavior and color differences in facilitating isolation in the group. Specifically, indices of female choice, male choice, and male competition are estimated from laboratory behavioral observations and male and female color pattern differences are characterized using calibrated digital photographs. Female choice appears most influential on behavioral isolation. Surprisingly, however, differences in the strength of female choice do not appear correlated with differences in male color patterns. Instead, differences
    • in male color patterns better predict male-male interactions. Complex signals: what do spiders have to say? AC Mason1, DO Elias2, P De Luca3 1. University of Toronto Scarborough, 2. UC Berkeley, 3. College of the Bahamas Courtship signals vary in complexity but are often more elaborate than long-range advertisement signals, with multiple components often in different sensory modalities. Interactions among components in complex signals and contributions of individual components to overall signal function are poorly understood. Courtship displays in three spider groups span a range of complexity in signal structure. Jumping spiders (Habronattus) prolonged, multimodal courtship displays are highly structured, and show a pattern of diversification consistent with selection for suites of multimodal traits driven by female preferences for displays of higher complexity. In Australian redback spiders (Latrodectus) evidence suggests that courtship signals are a simple broadcast of vibrational energy, integrated by females to reach a mate-acceptance threshold. Wolf spiders (Schizocosa) are intermediate with complex male vibrational displays that are correlated with distinct aspects of male quality (developmental history vs current condition). These differences in signal complexity and information content may depend on effects of variable substrates on signal transmission and constraints of female sensory capacities. Do squid have a Theory of Mind about potential predators? JA Mather 1, AD Ward 2 1. University of Lethbridge, 2 Harvard University Research on Theory of Mind has focused on the ability of social animals to infer conspecifics’ mental states. Yet solitary animals may use similar cognitive skills to infer the mental states of other species; specifically, to predict what potential predators might do in the near future (Lurz, 2011). Potential prey must be attuned to the current intentions of potential predators—animals that are sometimes dangerous but sometimes harmless—balancing the costs of expending energy to escape against the fatal costs of failing to do so. Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) are nektonic, vulnerable to potential predators' approach from all directions. Mather (2010) showed they respond differently to approach characteristics (speed, size and distance) of fish of different species. Yet Theory of Mind implies the capacity to infer intentions, as opposed to simply following rule-based guidelines for responding to behavioral cues. This follow-up study looks at differences in responding to potential threats across the squid lifespan, well as the variability of responses to fish within and across species. This allows us to investigate whether squid responses to potential predators. Intraspecific competition shapes the movements and trophic ecology of a large estuarine predator P Matich, MR Heithaus Florida International University Intraspecific competition can shape animal behavior, but elucidating its importance in natural settings can be difficult. During early years, bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) allocate a large proportion of consumed biomass into growth, which likely promotes a reduction in predation risk and facilitates earlier life history transitions. Thus, intraspecific competition may be an important driver of bull shark behavior. In 2010, south Florida experienced an extreme weather event that greatly modified juvenile bull shark densities, enabling us to gain insights into the potential role of intraspecific competition in shaping their behavior. We used annual differences in relative shark abundance as a proxy for changes in competition to test the effects of intraspecific competition on the movement patterns and diets of sharks. Telemetry and stable isotope data suggest that higher levels of competition lead to greater spatial segregation between age-classes, which were associated with changes in trophic interactions. The potential for environmental perturbations to affect patterns of intraspecific competition may be an important consideration for predicting species response to anthropogenic changes. Cooperative transport in ants: a modeling approach HF McCreery University of Colorado, Boulder Cooperative transport occurs when a group of individuals work together to move an object in one piece. Using cooperative transport, some ant species can carry large food items such as birds, bats and snakes vertically up a tree trunk, while other species can only pull food in opposite directions, sometimes for hours. Why are some ant species so good at cooperative transport, while others are so bad? I hypothesize that efficient species exploit
    • feedback to coordinate the transport effort. I model the effect of feedback and other behavioral parameters on cooperative transport efficiency, and I compare simulations with these behavioral parameters to experimental data from both efficient and inefficient ant species. This work sets the stage for a better understanding of the behavioral rules that lead to efficient cooperative transport, and cooperative behavior more generally. Order matters: orderly sequences in manakin and elephant dominance networks DB McDonald University of Wyoming Several alternative methods exist for ranking animals in a dominance hierarchy. For certain datasets, those rankings can differ widely among methods such as David’s score, the deVries matrix-shuffling inconsistencyreduction method or Elo rating (derived from chess). Elo rating is unique in that it considers, and is sensitive to, the order of the contests. Higher rankings result from suffering losses early and obtaining wins late in a sequence of contests. I use a dominance dataset for elephants and one for birds to explore the effects of shuffling the observed order of contests. In general, the deVries method and the Elo rating method are in fairly close agreement. Where the raw sequence of interactions is available, the Elo rating method has several interesting advantages, such as the ability to assess the temporal stability of the rank orders. I have R scripts for many of the most widely used ranking algorithms. Linking the various ranking algorithms to various kinds of network approaches for dominance (e.g., the triad census) should be useful for many who examine dominance in a wide range of taxa. Human Preferences of Photographed Dogs KE McDowell Memorial University of Newfoundland The “Big Black Dog Syndrome (BBDS)” is a phenomenon that is often reported by animal shelter workers to describe the belief that light coloured coats are consistently preferred over dark and/or black coat coloured dogs (Coren, 2011; DeLeeuw, 2010; Leonard, 2011; Lepper, Kass & Hart, 2002). Recent work supports the idea that coat colour influences people's ratings of dog personality traits, with black dogs being rated lower on agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability (Fratkin & Baker, 2013). We have recently completed data collection for a study examining the role of coat colour (light vs. dark/black) and coat type (long/rough vs. short/smooth) on people's preferences. Additionally, we are examining the possible effects of culture (i.e., location) on preferences. Particularly, we predict that for the breeds of dogs native to, and largely celebrated in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Labrador Retriever and Newfoundland, both of which have a dominant black coat colour, will be preferred by the residents of the province and thus contradict the BBDS. Whether these preferences extend to, or influence, their preferences for other breeds will be examined. Biogenic amines as mediators of spider behavior R McGinley1, T Peckmezian1, E Hebets2, P Taylor1, E Sovik1, A Barron1 1. Macquarie University, 2. University of Nebraska, Lincoln Biogenic amines, such as serotonin and octopamine, are important mediators of behavior in both vertebrates and invertebrates, with remarkably consistent patterns apparent over vast taxonomic ranges. Spiders are popular model systems for behavior research, but little is known about physiological mediators of spider behavior, especially about the role of biogenic amines. We quantified base-line levels of biogenic amines at different life stages of the jumping spider Servaea incana, and considered the role of biogenic amines as mediators of intraspecfic interactions. Base-line levels of biogenic amines might be linked to resource holding potential such that winners and losers tend to differ in base-line levels at the beginning of contests. Alternatively, the winning or losing of contests might induce changes in base-line levels such that winners and losers might be similar in levels of biogenic amines at the beginning of a contest but differ at the end. To address this, we staged contests between size-matched S. incana males and measured levels of biogenic amines either immediately after the contest or three days later as well as in control groups that did not experience contests. A new software tool for analyzing animal coloration from digital photographs KJ McGraw, M Giraudeau, T Borkar, L Karam Arizona State University Digital photography has been popularized recently as a method for measuring the extent and intensity of colorful patches on animals, but no work has been done to develop rigorous or efficient methods for extracting color data
    • from digital photographs. Here we unveil a new automated software program for calculating colorimetric and patchsize variables from digital photos of animals. We optimized and tested this software (against manual color scoring by two human observers using Adobe Photoshop) on the variable red-yellow plumage coloration of male house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We found high correspondence between software-calculated colorimetrics (hue, chroma, brightness, patch size) and human-calculated values. Our automated approach removes inter-observer error, which was as high as 12% in this study. Moreover, processing time was cut from ca. 3 minutes/image for manual color-scoring methods to 0.01 min/image with the automated software. While the software requires some system-specific modifications (e.g. for different color types), we suggest that this tool can be rapidly customized for widespread use in animal-coloration research that is based upon digital photography. Predator response behaviors and release success in the endangered Perdido Key beach mouse ME McPhee 1, DG Kleiman 2 1. U of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 2. ZooLogic The Perdido Key beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus trissyllepsis) is a federally endangered species found along the coasts of Alabama and Florida. In March of 2010, a team of biologists released captive populations from Brevard Zoo (N = 32) and West Palm Beach Zoo (N = 15) onto the Florida Point Unit of Gulf State Park, Alabama. Prior to release, we conducted behavioral assays on each animal to measure their level of response to a predator cue. These tests indicated that when exposed to a predator cue few voles altered their behavior. When the populations from each zoo were compared, however, there was a difference in behavior: animals from Brevard were, on average, less responsive to the predator cue than animals from West Palm Beach. In terms of the release, we can qualitatively say that the performance on the predator test did not predict survival in the wild. The results, however were based on a small sample size (N=12) due to a high degree of mortality caused by fox predation. This was an extremely strong predation event that removed 74% of the released animals; those lost came from both zoos and expressed the full range of responses on the predator test. Sexual inhibition in Servaea incana jumping spiders: expression and mechanisms V Mendez, PW Taylor Macquarie University Sexual inhibition has been studied extensively in insects but this research area remains very poorly developed in spiders. Once mated, females of many jumping spider species become sexually unreceptive and aggressive toward males but the mechanisms responsible for this sexual inhibition are unknown. We assessed the mating frequency of 88 Servaea incana (Araneae: Salticidae) females from maturation until death. Virgin females were highly receptive but sexual inhibition was induced immediately after their first copulation; females became aggressive towards their first mate and almost always rejected courtship from subsequent males. Even after experimental removal of their first and second batches of eggs (simulating predation), females very rarely remated. Given low levels of female remating, virgin females are at an extreme premium for male reproductive fitness. We discuss results for two sexual inhibition experiments in S. incana and propose mechanisms that might mediate sexual inhibition in this jumping spider. Data of population dynamics and natural history provide context to the findings of sexual inhibition experiments. Maternal antigen exposure leads to priming and suppressive effects on offspring antibody production L Merrill, JL Grindstaff Oklahoma State University Maternal antibodies (Ab) can both enhance and suppress offspring humoral immune responses but the conditions that induce priming versus suppressive effects have been unclear. In this study, we exposed female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and their five-day-old offspring to one of two antigens (KLH or LPS) or a control and quantified antigen-specific and total Ab levels in the offspring. Total Ab levels peaked at day 17 post-hatch and offspring exposed to LPS or KLH had reduced levels of total Abs during the primary response phase compared to offspring that received the control. Offspring exposed to LPS failed to mount a primary Ab response to LPS but did mount a secondary response, whereas offspring exposed to KLH mounted primary and secondary responses. However, offspring of both KLH- and LPS-challenged mothers exhibited weaker antigen-specific secondary Ab responses when mothers and offspring were challenged with the same antigen, suggesting a potential suppressive effect of maternal Abs. In contrast, we found that maternal antigen exposure stimulated the production of specific Abs in non-challenged offspring, suggesting a stimulatory effect of maternal immune challenge.
    • Pheasant behavioral responses to hunting pressure and management actions LN Messinger 1, JJ Fontaine 1,2 1. Univ Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska Cooperative F&W Research Unit, 2. U.S. Geological Survey Predation is a strong selective force; however, it is typically evaluated only in terms of consumption despite findings showing that indirect impacts of predation can be just as important. Furthermore, field studies evaluating predation risk are rare given the difficulty of separating the effects of consumptive and non-consumptive predation in natural systems. Our study system in Southwestern Nebraska allows us to evaluate behavioral responses of wild ring-necked pheasants to predation risk in the form of recreational hunting. Due to regulations prohibiting the harvest of female pheasants, we are able to evaluate the effects of both consumptive as well as non-consumptive predation risk on pheasant behavior, focusing on the impacts of hunting on pheasant roost site selection, home range size and location, and survival. Using movement locations before and during the 2012/2013 hunting season, we found trends for increasing home range size and reduced survival for pheasants experiencing higher levels of hunting pressure during the hunting season. By understanding how pheasants respond to recreational hunting, we gain better insight into how predation risk impacts wildlife populations. A Nuptial Gift of Salt: Puddling in Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies C Mitra 1, DR Papaj 1, G Davidowitz 1 1. U of Arizona Males in many species provide females with nuptial gifts. Such gifts have been shown to affect male mating success and, in some species, result in fitness benefits for either the female or her offspring. Mud puddling is a well-recognized behavior in Lepidoptera, where individuals, mostly males, aggregate and feed from puddles, carrion and feces. Puddling individuals appear to be seeking sodium and/or various nitrogenous compounds. Previous work has suggested that puddling may be a means for males to acquire elements for nuptial gifts to females. We examined the effects of feeding on salt on male reproductive behavior and male mating success in Battus philenor, the pipevine swallowtail butterfly. Specifically, we asked whether males fed on salt had higher mating success when in competition with males fed on water. In addition, we examined whether males fed on salt had (1) higher remating success, (2) higher courtship vigor, (3) longer mating time, (4) shorter mating latency, and (5) better flight performance, when compared to males fed on water. Our results suggest that salt affects several aspects of male mating behavior, and as well as affecting their mating success. Parasite-host interaction favors aggressive host personalities in ants AP Modlmeier 1,2, T Pamminger 2, S Suette 3, PS Pennings 4, S Foitzik 2 1 University of Pittsburgh, 2 University of Mainz, 3 University of Vienna, 4 Harvard University It has been suggested that parasitism could strongly influence host behavior and the evolution of divergent personality traits. In this context, the coevolutionary arms race between social parasites and their hosts is especially suited to study the relationship of differences in host personality and parasitism. In a field manipulation, we aimed to disentangle the impact of slavemaking ants (social parasite) and nest density on aggression of Temnothorax longispinosus ants (host). Host colony aggression remained consistent over the two-month experiment, but did not respond to our manipulation. An early slavemaker mating flight provided us with the unique opportunity to study the influence of host aggression and demography on parasite founding success. One-fifth of all host colonies were successfully invaded by parasite queens. Most importantly, we discovered that parasite queens were able to capture more brood from less aggressive host colonies. Hence, slavemaker nest foundation could act as a strong selection event leading to higher aggression in host colonies. Reliability of sexually selected signals and the evolution of plasticity in mate preferences M R Morris Ohio University An increasing number of studies are detecting relationships between environmental variation and female mate preferences, leading to adaptive hypotheses for plasticity in mate preferences. It has been hypothesized that females would be less discriminating in poor quality environments due to the decreased ability to invest in the costs of mate discrimination. However, recent findings that sometimes females in poor condition are choosier highlight the complexity of the relationship between the environment and mate preferences. Many sexually selected traits are condition dependent, and gene by environment interactions for sexually selected traits has indicated that these traits will not be reliable signals of either direct or indirect benefits under all conditions. I review
    • evidence from two mate preferences studies in the swordtail Xiphophorus multilineatus to support an alternative hypothesis that variation in the reliability of sexually selected signals selects for stronger mate preferences in those conditions where the traits reveal the most reliable information about direct or indirect benefits. Learning and innate biases guide the development of female mating preferences Dana L. Moseley U of Massachusetts Amherst Female mate preference is a crucial component of sexual selection, yet we have limited knowledge of how it develops. Mating preferences in adults may be shaped by multiple factors during development including genetic biases, social copying, and learning. I studied female preference development in swamp sparrows (Melospiza georgiana), a species in which adult females are known to prefer high performance songs. In two experiments, I raised and tutored females with song models of normal performance. I tested female preferences for tutor against novel songs (Exp. 1) and against higher- and lower-performance versions (Exp. 2) using CSD and operant assays. In Exp. 1, females gave significantly more CSDs to tutor songs than to novel songs. In Exp. 2 females gave significantly fewer CSDs to low-performance than to normal songs, and also responded the most strongly to normal-performance songs overall, although at a level that did not differ significantly from high-performance songs. A greater response to tutor songs in both experiments implicates a strong influence of experience in shaping female preference, although preference appears to also be driven by innate biases for a sexually selected trait. Male choice in a nuptial gift-giving butterfly (Pieris rapae) MA Mowery, N Tigreros, SM Lewis Tufts University Sexual selection is an important evolutionary process, yet little research has examined what signals males use to evaluate females. In this study on Pieris rapae, cabbage butterflies, we manipulated female wing coloration (pterin removal) and size (larval diet manipulation), as well as male larval diet, to evaluate potential signals for pre- and post-copulatory male choice. Males made more mating approaches toward control females compared to pterinextracted females. This difference was particularly marked for males subjected to brief larval starvation. Males did not appear to discriminate between small and large females. To examine post-copulatory choice, we measured spermatophore mass and nutrient content for matings with large vs. small females. Males transferred similarlysized spermatophores to large and small females, but the former had higher % nitrogen and carbon. Lastly, we examined field-caught females to see if variation in female wing coloration predicted the number of matings obtained. This study has expanded our knowledge of both pre- and post-copulatory choice in butterflies. Decision-making in bumblebees: choosing between simple and complex flowers F Muth 1, T Keasar 2, A Dornhaus 1 1. U of Arizona 2. U of Haifa at Oranim Many animals are faced with the problem of choosing between options that are immediately rewarding and ones that require learning to gain a potentially higher benefit or reward. However, it is not always clear how animals decide to persevere with learning when there are more immediately rewarding options available. Bumblebees forage for nectar on flowers that vary in their morphology. Some of these flowers are ‘simple’, whereas other ‘complex’ flowers require a period of learning to access the nectar. We addressed how individuals choose between simple and complex flowers and under what conditions they persevere with learning to handle the complex flowers correctly. While individuals did not have initial preferences for complexity, some persevered with learning to handle them correctly when the flower offered a larger reward than the simple option. One process by which this occurred was through a negative incentive contrast response towards the less-rewarding option. However, there were individual differences in the decision bees made after experiencing an incentive contrast. These results may offer insight into perception and decision-making processes in other animals. Mothers, not altruistic daughters, determine eusociality in the sweat bee, Megalopta genalis. P Nonacs 1, KM Kapheim 2, WT Wcislo 3 1. UCLA, 2. Univ Illinois, 3. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Kin selection predominates as the explanation for the evolution of eusociality. Alternatively, a growing chorus suggests group or standard natural selection models provide the better explanation, with genetic relatedness playing a minor or negative role. However, these critiques of kin selection have not been tested empirically.
    • Likewise, despite extensive theoretical and empirical support, inclusive fitness has not been comprehensively calculated for alternative social phenotypes. Here we show that although relatedness is important, eusociality has more likely evolved through maternal manipulation than through offspring altruism. Calculated inclusive fitness values in a free-living population of a facultatively eusocial sweat bee did not significantly differ across social or solitary queens. However, both types of queens had significantly higher inclusive fitness than workers, indicating that helping comes with a loss of fitness. Mathematical simulations support these empirical data: the equilibrium frequencies of eusocial nests depend on relatedness within nests, but helping behavior as a genetic trait evolves more readily through maternal manipulation than offspring-determined altruism. The evolution of sociality in cichlid fishes: insights from behaviour and gene expression CM O’Connor1, S Marsh-Rollo1, K Hick1, S Cortez Ghio2, J Tan1, MYL Wong1, AR Reddon1, N Aubin-Horth2, S Balshine1 1. McMaster U, 2. U Laval It is widely assumed that complex sociality evolves from modifications to simple behaviours and associated changes to underlying hormonal pathways. However, few empirical studies have explored variation in simple dimensions of social behaviours and how they build along a sociality axis between species. The rapid and repeated radiation of African cichlid fishes has resulted in extraordinary diversity of species and variation in sociality. We compared two closely-related cichlids with highly divergent social systems to determine if they differ in different dimensions of social behaviour, and in gene expression of candidate neuropeptides and receptors thought to be involved in modulating social behaviour. Consistent with predictions, we found that the social species displays more prosocial behaviour and more complex conflict resolution behaviour than the non-social species. Furthermore, we found that the social species had higher gene expression of the vasotocin and isotocin neuropeptides and their receptors. Our results suggest that changes in simple behaviours and underlying mechanisms related to hierarchy formation are critical in the evolution of group-living and cooperation. Phylogenetic reconstruction of female song across songbirds KJ Odom1, MH Hall , K Riebel3, KE Omland1, NE Langmore4 1 U Maryland, Baltimore County, 2 U Melbourne, 3 Leiden U, 4 Australian Natl U Complex bird song is thought to have evolved primarily through sexual selection on males to attract females. However, most bird song research has been conducted in temperate regions, where species with male-only song are common. Yet, in the tropics, where most bird species exist, and Australasia, where songbirds originated, song is thought to be common in females as well as males. We quantified the prevalence of female song in nearly all lineages of songbirds and conducted ancestral state reconstruction to determine if the common ancestor had female song. We found that females sing in the majority of songbird species examined and that there is strong support that the female ancestor of the songbirds sang. These results have strong implications for how we think about and study the evolution of complex song in birds. Exploring how social relationships influence gestural communication in captive bonobos E Orr, R Byrne University of St. Andrews Bonobos use an extensive repertoire of gestures to communicate their goals and intentions to conspecifics. In this study I consider how social relationships between signalers and recipients influence use of gestures across dyads. Video recordings of gestures within social interactions among 17 bonobos were taken at the Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin, over the course of 14 months in 2011-12. For each bonobo I consider the choice of gestures, what they used them for, and the strength of social relationships across dyads. Social relationships influence gestural communication, especially when it comes to signaling a demand versus an offer of social interaction. For example, asking the recipient to “groom me” through the use of gestures is almost exclusively done by the higher-ranking individual within a dyad whereas the lower-ranking bonobo will only offer grooming (“groom you”) and never demand grooming in return. These findings indicate that gestural communication may provide bonobos with a tool for managing multiple relationships.
    • Sex differences in color increase over evolutionary time in Sceloporus lizards AG Ossip-Klein1, JR Oyola Morales1, C Vital2, JJ Zúñiga-Vega3, DK Hews4, EP Martins1 1 Indiana U, 2 U Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, 3 U Autónoma de México, 4 Indiana State U Sex differences in color are often due to different selective pressures acting on males and females, and often increase over evolutionary time. In the lizard genus, Sceloporus, there appear to be several, independent losses of sex differences in color, due to male shifts from blue to white ventral coloration. However, there are several limitations to the human eye (including the inability to detect ultraviolet light), and we thus often underestimate the spectral variation present in animal color patterns. Here, we test for cryptic (i.e. not visible to the human eye) sex differences in color across white-bellied lizards, and ask how sex differences in color change over evolutionary time across 4 morphologically diverse Sceloporus species. We find that white-bellied lizards actually exhibit cryptic sex differences in color, with the older lineage exhibiting a greater degree of sexual dimorphism. We also find that sex differences in color increase over an evolutionary timescale in the ultraviolet and middle-wavelengths of light, for both white-bellied species and blue-bellied species. This is potentially due to selection for increased signal efficiency in one sex. Sexual selection in the invasive small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) MA Owen 1,2, DC Lahti 1 1. Queens College & Graduate Center, City University of New York Studies of rapid trait change in an historical time frame, especially following species introduction to a new environment, have the potential to reveal intermediate steps and the ecological and social factors involved in the origin and intensification of sexual selection on particular traits. For instance, the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) has been introduced from India to several islands throughout the world. In many of these introduced areas, such as Hawaii where it has been established for over 250 generations, the mongoose has increased in population density, resulting in more conspecific interaction. Theory predicts an increase in competition for mates as a result of increased social interaction. Consistent with this prediction, we found that mongooses in Hilo, Hawaii have a high degree of sexual dimorphism in several traits, especially body size and the size of the anal pad (an organ used for marking). These findings, coupled with provisional information from the native range, suggest that sexual selection has intensified following introduction as the population density of mongooses has grown and the level of social interaction has increased. Mechanisms of Social Evolution Robert E. Page, Jr. Arizona State University Selection on colonies for social traits results in changes at all levels of biological organization from the social interactions of individuals to gene regulation. Selection for protein storage in honey bees has revealed mechanisms at many of these levels that are subject to change during the evolution of complex social behavior and result in changes in the social phenotype. I will map mechanisms at different levels that affect development, physiology, and behavior and show how they interact within and between levels of biological systems. I will show how colony-level selection affected the relationships between developing larvae and nurse bees resulting in hormonal changes during larval development that affect reproductive regulatory networks and ultimately the amount of stored protein in colonies. An Online Education in Wildlife Behavior – Making It Work D. Paoletti Oregon State University The addition of distance education (DE) curricula at the university level has increased substantially over the last decade. The evolution of technologies and a changing student demographic has compelled instructors to think more creatively about alternative methods of content delivery. This is particularly true for departments offering degrees in the natural sciences. In 2009, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University began offering a Fisheries and Wildlife BS degree completely online. My challenge was to develop an online course in wildlife behavior that presented a considerable amount of information in a way that would keep students engaged. Not only this, but I felt it critical to provide students an opportunity to gain experience in the field. I have found that a combination of video introductions, Prezi presentations, online discussions, and a self-directed behavioral study has resulted in a high student success rate and overwhelmingly positive feedback. This approach
    • is highly applicable to courses in related fields and could be implemented immediately with minimal effort. Greater sage-grouse adjust the timing of their signaling behavior in response to noise playback GL Patricelli1, JL Blickley1, D Blackwood1, E Hardy1 1. University of California, Davis, 2. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Environmental noise can interfere with signal detection and discrimination through masking, but animals may reduce these impacts by adjusting their signals. Here we investigate whether male greater sage-grouse adjust the repetition and timing of their breeding signals in response to playback of anthropogenic noise, which was previously shown to impact male abundance and stress levels on the lek. First, we compared the display behavior of male sage-grouse on leks with long-term industrial and traffic noise playback to that of males on control leks. Second, we conducted a short-term playback of intermittent traffic noise and compared the display timing of individuals during noisy and quiet periods. Sage-grouse showed flexibility in signaling behavior in response to noise, adjusting the timing of their signals in a manner that may reduce masking. However, male behavior in response to noise was related to female proximity, highlighting the importance of including social context in studies of vocal plasticity and noise. Our results suggest that noise can negatively impact sage-grouse communication on the lek, but that these impacts may be at least partially reduced by male behavioral plasticity. Life-long learning in tool-using wild bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) Eric M. Patterson, Ewa Krzyszczyk, and Janet Mann Department of Biology, Georgetown U The ability to learn may be universal among animals, but the extent to which non-human animals demonstrate sustained, lifelong learning akin to the acquisition of expertise in humans remains unknown. Here we examined whether wild female bottlenose dolphins that use sponge tools to forage improved in tool-use proficiency with experience. The amount of time females foraged and travelled with a sponge tool followed an inverted U-function of age peaking around midlife (~23 yrs) well after the behaviour was initially learned from their mothers (~2 yrs) , but before their maximum lifespan (~40 yrs). By midlife, females also devoted minimal time to acquiring tools, presumably because they have gained substantial spatial knowledge concerning the distribution and quality of sponges in their home ranges. Peak performance occurred when females were most likely to have dependent offspring, and thus, when foraging proficiency matters most due to the energetic demands of lactation. Our results parallel research on human expertise, demonstrate the importance of life-long learning in non-human animal life histories, and have implications for the evolution of learning, individual specialization, and culture. Sequential-sampling models of quorum sensing in house-hunting Temnothorax ants TP Pavlic, SC Pratt Arizona State University The ability to estimate nestmate numbers plays a key role in insect colony organization. Many tasks depend on individual workers responding appropriately to the number of insects around them. How they do so remains unknown, but research has implicated encounter rates as a key source of information. Here we show how sequential-sampling models (SSM) from psychology provide a cognitively plausible mechanism for an ant to decide whether a critical nestmate density has been achieved. In these models, an individual chooses one of two alternatives based on evidence that accumulates over time until reaching a threshold condition. We developed a drift--diffusion SSM for quorum-sensing by nest-site scouts of Temnothorax ants. These ants use nestmate encounters in a candidate site to decide when to fully commit to the site as the colony's new home. In human experiments, evidence accumulation cannot be quantitatively observed directly, but it can be inferred by fitting models to empirical data. In our experiments, ant encounters are the source of evidence and can be observed directly. Our model predicts Temnothorax recruitment choice and decision-time distributions based on encounter rate. Reasoning by Inference: Further Studies on Exclusion in Grey Parrots (Psittacus erithacus) IM Pepperberg 1,2, A Koepke 3, P Livingston 1, M Girard 2, LA Hartsfield 4 1. Harvard U, 2. Brandeis U, 3. Hunter College-CUNY, 4. Phoenix Landing Grey parrot abilities for visual inferential reasoning by exclusion were tested in two experiments. The first replicated a Grey parrot study of Mikolasch et al. (2011), which replicated an ape study of Premack and Premack
    • (1994), to learn if our birds could succeed on the task. Here parrots watched an experimenter hide two equally desirable foods under two separate opaque cups, surreptitiously remove and then, in view of the birds, pocket/eat one of the foods, leaving birds to find the still baited cup. Controls eliminated many alternative explanations for the birds’ behavior, but birds might still have avoided a cup from which something had been removed rather than specifically tracking the eaten food. Thus, in the second experiment, some trials were run with one food more preferred than the other, during which two items of each type were hidden and only one of the items were removed from one cup. Sessions also included Experiment 1-type trials to see if birds tracked when and when not to use exclusion. Thus birds would be rewarded for attending closely to all the experimental aspects needed to infer how to receive the preferred treat. Three of four birds succeeded fully. Development of personality: boldness and docility in yellow-bellied marmots MB Petelle1, DE McCoy2, V Alejandro2, JGA Martin3, DT Blumstein1,2 1 UCLA, 2 Rocky Mountain Biol Lab, 3 Univ Aberdeen Personality traits are important because they can affect individual survival as well as how a population may respond to environmental change. How these traits arise, whether they are maintained throughout ontogeny, and how environmental factors affect them throughout life is poorly understood. Understanding these pathways is important for determining the function and evolution of animal personality. We examined the development of two personality traits-boldness and docility-in yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris). We quantified repeatability within three age groups (juveniles, yearlings, and adults), and individual and syndrome stability across these same stages. We quantified boldness through Flight Initiation Distance (FID) tests, and docility through marmots’ response to being trapped. We found that boldness is repeatable in yearlings and adults, but docility is repeatable in all age classes. We also found that juvenile docility predicted later docility; this trend was not seen in boldness. We found no behavioral syndrome between boldness and docility in any life stage. This suggests that these personality traits develop independently and at age-appropriate times. Harvester ants use interactions to regulate forager activation and availability N Pinter-Wollman University of California, San Diego Social groups balance flexibility and robustness in their collective response to environmental changes using feedback between behavioral processes that operate at different timescales. Here we examine how behavioral processes operating at two timescales regulate the foraging activity of harvester ant colonies, allowing them to balance their response to food availability and predation. To investigate how interactions inside the nest link the rates of returning and outgoing foragers, we observed outgoing foragers inside the nest in field colonies, using a novel observation method. We found that the interaction rate experienced by outgoing foragers inside the nest corresponds to forager return rate. The activation of a forager occurs on the timescale of seconds: it leaves the nest 3-8 seconds after a substantial increase in interactions with returning foragers. The availability of outgoing foragers to become activated is adjusted on the timescale of minutes: when forager return is interrupted for more than 4-5 minutes, available foragers waiting near the nest entrance go deeper into the nest. Regulations at these two timescales allows the colony to balance flexibility and robustness. Chemical disturbance cues trigger escape behavior in adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) BJPloger, EA Gunderson, E Poirier Hamline University Prey should adjust their responses to level of risk, which increases through the predation sequence from detection through attack and capture. During attack, chemical alarm cues released from wounded conspecifics provide public information that many aquatic species use for their antipredator responses. By contrast, disturbance cues released by stressed, uninjured conspecifics have been reported in only a handful of species. We investigated disturbance cues in 49 adult African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) that received water from tanks containing two “sender” frogs. Receiver responses were compared when they were exposed to water from undisturbed senders vs. senders disturbed by an egret hand-puppet. We also compared responses of 31 frogs when undisturbed vs. attacked directly by a model egret. In both experiments, the duration of two behavior patterns was significantly greater after disturbance (disturbance-cue water or direct attack) than after the undisturbed treatment. These escape actions were Tuck (stationary with limbs contracted), and Dart (burst of fast swimming). To our knowledge, this is the first report of mature anurans responding to disturbance chemicals.
    • Ecological Speciation and the Magic Trait Scenario J Podos University of Massachusetts, Amherst Ecological speciation is recognized with increasing frequency as an important generator of biodiversity. Under ecological speciation, diverging populations encounter distinct ecological environments, undergo divergent trajectories of selection and, as an incidental consequence, experience strengthened biases for within-population mating and reproductive isolation. Much recent discussion about ecological speciation has focused on so-called "magic traits", traits such as mating cues or signal features that simultaneously diverge through disruptive selection (DS) and control non-random mating (NR). Upon closer consideration, however, some key doubts emerge about magic traits, especially concerning their definition and relevance in nature. A distinction of particular importance is between the inextricability of DS and NR effects on the one hand, and the unexpected nature of DS and NR linkages on the other. I describe this distinction for some "classic" magic traits, explore the conceptual and operational limits of our current definition of magic traits, and propose an alternative approach that focuses not on magic traits per se but rather on what I term the "magic trait scenario". Costly signals enforce honesty in an experimental signaling game TJ Polnaszek, DW Stephens University of Minnesota Communication depends on reliable signals, yet stable honest signaling presents a well-known evolutionary puzzle. Theory provides several mechanisms that can stabilize honesty, even in the face of conflicting interests. A particularly influential approach to studying honesty is the ‘handicap principle’, which predicts that the costs of signaling stabilize honesty. We tested this prediction using pairs of blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) in an experimental signaling game. While there is no doubt that many signals do have costs, we lack definitive experimental evidence showing that honesty persists when costs are high, and disappears when costs are low. Our results provide evidence of this type. The results show that signal cost has no influence on honesty if signalers and receivers share a common interest (signalers are consistently honest). Conversely, conflict between players causes dishonesty in low cost conditions, but this deception decreases dramatically when signal costs increase. The approach we developed offers two distinct advantages; direct control over signal cost and a clear operational definition of honesty. Climate-dependent variation in breeding as the mechanism affecting gene flow in food-caching birds VV Pravosudov 1, N Dochtermann 2 1. University of Nevada Reno, 2. North Dakota State University Gene flow might impede adaptation associated with differential selection. In chickadees, which use memory for cache retrieval, differences in winter climate are associated with differences in memory and the hippocampus both on large and small spatial scales. It is not clear, however, whether such variation, especially on small spatial scales, may be produced by selection. We propose that differences in climate resulting in differences in breeding time might affect gene flow even on small spatial scales because breeding time has a strong effect on recruitment success in winter flocks, dominance status and survival. Later hatching individuals from harsher climates likely experience lower survival if they were to move to milder environments with earlier breeding due to lower success of recruitment and lower dominance status. Individuals from milder environments would likely experience higher winter mortality in harsher environments if they have inferior memory needed to recover caches necessary for winter survival. Simulation models support these predictions and show that the two genotypes can diverge between harsh and mild environments independent of spatial scale. Evolution of female traits drives sexual dimorphism in New World blackbirds JJ Price 1, MD Eaton 2 1. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2. Drake University Males of sexually dimorphic species often appear more divergent among taxa than do females. As a consequence, it is often assumed that male traits have changed more dramatically in the evolutionary past. Yet, phylogenetic studies show that dimorphism can be a product of historical changes in either or both of the sexes. Here we describe the evolution of male and female songs and plumage colors in members of the New World blackbird family, a group with diverse mating systems. Although both songs and colors are clearly influenced by sexual selection, levels of dimorphism in these traits are not related to mating system. Furthermore, although male
    • plumages generally represent greater differences in coloration between species, female plumages represent more frequent and rapid color divergence in the evolutionary past. These findings suggest that the influences of natural and sexual selection in the evolution of sexual dimorphisms in species are more complicated than we often assume. Poisonous personality: traits of colony founders shape lineage productivity and extinction risk JN Pruitt University of Pittsburgh Evolutionary dead-end strategies are characterized by short-term productivity benefits and long-term evolutionary costs. Here I detail a real-time dead-end strategy associated with the behavioral traits of lineage progenitors in the social spider Anelosimus studiosus. Specifically, colony lineages founded by docile spiders were eight times more likely to suffer extinction, despite their superior reproductive output. However, when inquilines were experimentally removed from progenitor colonies, differences in extinction probability among lineages vanished. Similarly, among lineages founded by purely docile or aggressive individuals, lineages with the highest reproductive output also suffered the lowest per capita survivorship; whereas, lineages founded by a mixture of docile/aggressive lacked such a trade-off. Finally, lineages with shorter progenitor-descendant distances gained more inquilines and had lower per capita survivorship, relative to more diffuse lineages. Together, this study demonstrates the traits of lineage progenitors and species interactions can unite to determine the fates of entire lineages. Pair-bonding experience & testosterone affect extra-pair ultrasonic vocalizations in a monogamous mouse JD Pultorak1, SO Loria1, MC Kalcounis-Rueppell2, CA Marler1 1. University of Wisconsin 2. University of North Carolina - Greensboro Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) have been implicated in courtship and pair-bond maintenance. Using the monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus), we measured USVs during male-female dyadic interactions across specific social contexts: courtship, 3 months after pairing, and exposure to a novel oppositesex conspecific. Rates of vocalization types and spectral feature averages are reported. We found a lower occurrence of “frequency modulated” calls among dyads containing bonded males with novel females when males were treated with testosterone immediately pre-trial. This result suggests a differential rapid response to transient increases in testosterone between bonded/father males and sexually inexperienced males upon exposure to a novel female. Our lab has discovered parallel findings of bonded/father males showing decreased advertisement toward novel females (via scent marking). Our studies support the concept that monogamy is reinforced by decreased responsiveness to prospective mates outside of the pairbond. Whatever central mechanism decreases this lack of responsiveness to novel females by paired males is one that can be triggered by testosterone. Testing the function of an antipredator display: ground squirrel tail-flagging toward rattlesnakes BJ Putman 1,2, RW Clark 1 1. San Diego State University, 2. University of California, Davis Several animals respond to predators through displays that deter the predator from further pursuit of the signaler. Such “predator-deterrent” signals can advertise the prey’s quality, perception of the predator, and/or vigilance. Previous observational research on interactions between free-ranging California ground squirrels and northern Pacific rattlesnakes suggests that squirrel tail-flagging may function primarily as a vigilance advertisement. Here, I present experimental trials that were performed on free-ranging squirrels to empirically test the function of the tailflagging display. I targeted marked squirrels with a spring-loaded device that uncoils at the same velocity of a rattlesnake strike, and quantified their response to this device to measure vigilance. I recorded data on squirrels that were not tail-flagging, tail-flagging to a tethered snake (perception advertisement), or tail-flagging with no snake present (vigilance advertisement). I found that squirrels exhibited the greatest response to simulated snake strikes when they were tail-flagging with no snake present. These results support the vigilant advertisement function of tail-flagging. Evolutionary conflict and its consequences DC Queller Washington Univ W.D. Hamilton taught biologists to focus on cooperation and conflict, but conflict has had less systematic attention. Conflict is not simply Darwinian competition, but contests where two parties evolve to have opposite effects on
    • joint phenotypes. Conflicts occur between social interactants, predators and prey, hosts and pathogens, mutualistic partners, and genetic elements in genomes. As a step towards synthesis across levels, I focus on consequences that help identify conflict. The first is oppositional design: males court and females resist, plants make toxins and herbivores detoxify them, patrigenes enhance embryo growth and matrigenes restrict it. Maladaptation is common, with at least one of the parties suffering from the conflict. Conflict can generate escalation, excess, and rapid evolution. Persistent selection can deplete genetic variation in at least one partner, with consequences for heritability, response to selection, and mutation accumulation. Experimental methods to study conflict include mixing from different populations and seeing the effects of hobbling one partner. No method is perfect and ideally multiple methods should be used. The role of experience in shaping variation in social information use SM Reader 1,2 1. McGill University, 2. Utrecht University Many animals utilize information produced by the behavior of other individuals, termed ‘social information use’. While considerable variation is seen between individuals, populations and species in their utilization of social information, relatively little is known about the factors that shape these differences. I will review recent work with fish, rodents and humans that demonstrates that current, recent and early life experience predict the reliance on social information, and thus can potentially explain inter-individual differences in social learning. For example, the perceived state of current environmental variability biased humans Homo sapiens to favor or disfavor social information. In guppies Poecilia reticulata, manipulation of the rewards obtaining by following social information biased guppies to later utilize social information in different ways. In rats Rattus norvegicus early maternal care predicted the reliance on social information in foraging decisions when adult. Thus social information is flexibly employed and its use is readily shaped by current and past experience. Comparing resource contests between cichlid fishes that differ in their degree of sociality AR Reddon, CM O’Connor, K Hick, S Balshine McMaster University The costs and benefits of engaging in resource contests may differ depending on social system. If so then understanding contest behaviour may help to elucidate the costs and benefits of sociality and shed light on social system evolution. In the current study, we compared contest behaviour in two closely-related species of cichlid fish. Neolamprologus pulcher is a highly social cooperatively breeder, while Telmatochromis temporalis is a less social pair-breeder. We staged contests over a shelter, a resource that is highly valued by both species. Contestants were either two males or two females, and either familiar or unfamiliar to each other. We found that N. pulcher engaged in fewer costly aggressive acts during contests than did T. temporalis. Having a familiar opponent also significantly dampened aggression during contests for N. pulcher, but not for T. temporalis. Further, N. pulcher were more likely to resolve conflicts through the use of submissive displays, while T. temporalis were more likely to flee. Our findings suggest that conflict resolution behaviour and dominance hierarchy formation may be important innovations in the evolution of complex social systems. The exploration-exploitation tradeoff in an amoeboid organism: slime mold vs the Two-Armed Bandit CR Reid1, T Latty2, H MacDonald1, S Garnier1 1 New Jersey Inst of Technology, 2 Univ of Sydney Foraging organisms must compromise between exploring to find the best foraging areas, and focusing on the area of highest return. This is known as the exploration-exploitation tradeoff, and equates to the classical ‘Two-Armed Bandit’ problem, where a player aims to maximize their gain when faced with two slot machines, each with a distinct but unknown reward rate. An optimal solution has been established with an algorithm (the Gittins Index), and several taxa (e.g. pigeons and great tits) have been found to optimally balance exploration/exploitation in such foraging experiments. Studies thus far have only examined organisms with brains, yet the exploration-exploitation tradeoff also applies to unicellular foragers, which must tackle the problem without the aid of neurons. We tested the slime mold Physarum polycephalum with the Two-Armed Bandit problem by assessing the effect of sampling on foraging patch choice in a Y-maze. We then used the Gittins Index to assess the optimality of the amoeba’s strategy, and thus how well it performs in the exploration-exploitation tradeoff. Our study challenges the common view that neurological hardware is required to solve complex problems.
    • The Big, The Don Juan and the Father: 3 steps towards the success with the harvestman ladies GS Requena 1,2, G Machado 2 1. Yale University, 2. Universidade de Sao Paulo In species with paternal care, females are likely to evaluate not only traits that indicate genetic quality of their partners, but also the expected quality of male parental effort. Using the Neotropical harvestman Magnispina neptunus, an arachnid with male-only care, we conducted a captivity experiment to investigate the relative importance of male size, courtship intensity, and the presence/absence of eggs inside nests on male reproductive success. Although male size positively influences the probability of holding a nest, it seemed less important during male-female interactions. On the other hand, both the courtship intensity and the presence of eggs in the nest increased the probability of receiving eggs after copulation. Moreover, males caring for a clutch received additional eggs sooner than males without a clutch. Therefore, male reproductive success in M. neptunus is first influenced by body size, which determines his ownership of a nest. During sexual interactions, then, females evaluate mate quality based on the combination of male courtship effort and also on the presence of eggs in the nest, suggesting that paternal care is a sexually selected trait in this species. Maternal strategies for reducing calf predation risk in Thomson’s gazelle BA Roberts, DI Rubenstein Princeton University The hiding strategy is the primary means of reducing offspring predation in many ungulate species. The infant spends its first days of life hidden in vegetation at some distance from its mother. This behavior reduces the infant’s probability of being detected by a predator, but does not eliminate its risk entirely. The infant is highly vulnerable if detected, and is exposed immediately after birth and during active periods when the mother retrieves and cares for the infant. Further protection therefore depends on the mother’s ability to monitor and respond to the infant’s risk. Through observations of free-ranging Thomson’s gazelles, we identify maternal behavioral strategies used to mitigate calf risk in the first hours of life and during active periods. Behaviors contributing to calf survival include isolation for birth and selection of concealing birth sites, while continual management of risk requires adjustments of maternal vigilance behavior according to calf activity. We discuss the causes of maternal strategies and their effects on the mother, and find that the tactics mothers use to balance costs to themselves and their calves depend on environmental and social conditions. Diversification under sexual selection by mate choice: preference strength vs preference divergence RL Rodríguez 1, JW Boughman 2, DA Gray 3, EA Hebets 4, G Höbel 1, LB Symes 5 1 University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, 2. Michigan State University, 3. California State University Northridge, 4. University of Nebraska Lincoln, 5. Dartmouth College The contribution of sexual selection to diversification remains poorly understood after decades of research. This may be in part because comparative studies have focused mainly on the strength of sexual selection, which may fail to capture the full scope of the action of selection --- e.g., students of natural selection focus on environmental differences that help compare regimes of selection across populations. We ask how this disparity in focus may affect the conclusions of studies on selection. We examine how the strength of sexual selection and the extent of divergence in its causes relate to mating display diversification, using quantitative descriptions of mate preferences across case studies of mate choice. We show that diversification is better explained by differences in the trait values favored by mate preferences, rather than preference strength --- i.e., the strength of selection influences the rate of evolution, but differences in the causes of selection determine the extent of divergence that can occur. Individual differences determine within-group structure and emergent group movement WL Romey SUNY Potsdam Individual differences in hunger influence structure within swarms, schools, and flocks. However, little is known about interactions of adaptive rules within a group and emergent dynamics. We developed a general optimality model that made predictions on relative position within a group based on individual state and environment. Then we tested these predictions with whirligig beetles. Finally, we developed a NetLogo-based simulation model to look at emergent group movement. The empirical work revealed that female whirligigs occupied the front of moving groups during fish predation at fast group speeds. However, position changed quickly for a change in gender, predation, or speed. The movement simulation model revealed that individual differences in blind zones of males
    • and females significantly changed a group’s “signature” (group size, density, polarization, and roundness). For example, groups whose members all had a blind zone of 60 degrees had a very different signature than groups in which the blind zones were half 60 and half 120 degrees. Ongoing studies examining the interaction of groups with architectural elements (doors, walls, obstacles) will also be presented. Tradeoffs in Auditory and Temporal Resolution in a Songbird (Molothrus ater) KL Ronald, E Fernandez-Juricic, JR Lucas Purdue University Communication signals are often multimodal in nature (e.g. male songbirds signal visually via plumage and audibly via song). Research has typically focused on the sender’s production of these signals, rather than the receiver’s multimodal sensory processing. The perceptual variability hypothesis suggests that multimodal signals are comprised of reinforcing components that ensure the accurate decoding of the signal, despite receiver variability in sensory processing. Therefore, I predicted that receiver sensory processing in one modality is negatively related to its processing in another modality. To test this prediction, I used auditory evoked potentials (AEPS) and electroretinograms (ERGs) to assess the auditory and visual processing of male brown-headed cowbirds. Both AEPs and ERGs are electrical potentials generated from the processing of sensory stimuli and the amplitude of these potentials is correlated with auditory and visual sensitivity, respectively. Results will be discussed within an intrasexual selection context and inform the field of multimodal signal evolution. The effect of visual environment on female mate choice decision-making MF Rosenthal, EA Hebets University of Nebraska-Lincoln In the wolf spider Schizocosa floridana, males attract mates via a complex seismic call. Generally, courtship effort (number of leg taps per minute) is an excellent predictor of copulation likelihood. However, female mating preferences are also affected by light environment, with females preferring high-quantity diet males to low-quantity diet males in the dark, but not in the light. Additionally, latency to copulation is significantly longer in the dark, suggesting that females may be assessing courtship longer, potentially due to lowered predation risk. We hypothesize that through increased assessment in the dark, females are increasing their fitness (females lay larger egg sacs in the dark) either by choosing higher quality males, or by allocating more resources to the mating. We ran courtship trials with field-captured spiders in both light and dark environments and recorded the male’s courtship. We raised the offspring and measured offspring number, percentage of eggs fertilized, offspring mass, and growth rate. We then assessed the relationship of male courtship to copulation likelihood and offspring measurements for both light and dark treatments. Results will be discussed. Why do some animals make more testosterone than others? A molecular view of behavioral evolution KA Rosvall1, SP Jayaratna1, CM Bergeon Burns , ED Ketterson1 1 Indiana U, 2 Louisiana State U Testosterone (T) regulates many fitness-related behaviors, suggesting that T plays a central role in behavioral evolution. However, the molecular mechanisms that differentiate “high T” and “low T” individuals or populations are not entirely clear, leaving a considerable gap in our understanding of how T and T-mediated behaviors evolve. This talk summarizes recent studies on the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) that examine linkages between circulating plasma T and gene expression for the enzymes responsible for making T in the gonad. We show that expression of some of these genes is tightly linked with individual variation in T (e.g. steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, 3-beta-HSD), identifying these genes as likely ‘pressure points’ of evolutionary change in T levels. We further extend these analyses to compare two subspecies of junco measured in the field and in a common garden, and our findings demonstrate both fixed and plastic differences in mechanisms of T production. We conclude that the molecular mechanisms regulating gonadal gene expression can generate plastic and evolved behavioral and hormonal responses to environmental change. Understanding the effects of seasonal drought and climate change on animal cognition TC Roth 1, AR Krochmal 2 1. Franklin and Marshall College, 2. Washington College Animals that live in changing environments tend to show high levels of plasticity in behavior and cognitive ability. Although terrestrial movements are central to the biology of aquatic turtles, the frequency of such movement due
    • to habitat degradation is increasing, in part, due to global climate change. While such movements are critical for survival, the cues utilized to find alternative habitat and how such perturbations shape turtles’ cognitive abilities is unknown. Using a model population of an aquatic turtle (Chrysemys picta) that has experienced predictable, rapid, human-induced losses of habitat for over 100 years, we examined the spatial patterns and cues utilized during long-distance terrestrial movements to alternative water sources. Our data suggest that olfactory learning and experience may play an important role in turtles’ overland navigation. Resident turtles use a set of precise pathways (+/- 5 m) reliably across multiple years. However, adult turtles unfamiliar with the area cannot identify these movement paths. Naïve juveniles (resident and unfamiliar), however, are capable of learning the paths, suggesting a critical period in learning during development. Complex signals and receiver behavior TL Rubi, DW Stephens University of Minnesota Complex signals, or signals comprised of multiple components, are abundant in animal communication. Complexity has been hypothesized to benefit receivers in a variety of ways, yet these hypotheses are often difficult to test given the challenge of manipulating isolated signal components. The presented research explicitly tests some of these hypotheses using a series of laboratory-based experiments simulating learned signal use. A colony of captive blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) serves as the study system. Subjects are presented with artificial multicomponent stimuli in food-rewarded signal following tasks. The first experiment tests the hypothesis that multiple reliable signal components improve receiver performance (the “Back-Up Signal Hypothesis”). Our findings do not support this hypothesis; in our system, receivers always followed a single signal component. This experimental paradigm is then expanded to test the effect of multimodal signals (signals with components in multiple sensory modalities). Multimodality has been argued to improve receiver processing in a variety of ways. In this experiment, we directly compare how receivers follow multimodal versus unimodal signals. Courtship behavior of male butterfly enhances transmission of iridescent sexual signal RL Rutowski, A Raymundo, B Seymoure, N Lessios Arizona State University The appearance of iridescent signals depends greatly on the spatial arrangement of the sender, light source, and receivers. This directionality will favor behavioral adaptations that enhance the probability of signal reception by the intended receiver, but such adaptations and how they work in nature have not been well studied. Males of the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly have a field of iridescent blue on their dorsal hindwing and females use this signal in mate selection. Is the male’s courtship behavior structured in a way that enhances the perception of his iridescent signal by the female? We have analyzed high-speed video clips of a male courtship display we have called a swoop and done spectrophotometric studies of wing radiance in the field as it would be perceived by females during courtship. Our results suggest that the visibility of the male’s iridescence to a potential mate is enhanced by the way he moves up in front of her during courtship. Our study clarifies questions about source of light that contributes to iridescent signals and the consequences for animals of using iridescent colors as signals in nature. Interspecific attachment: Social bonds between humans and their 'best friends' M Ryan, C Walsh, A Storey Memorial University of Newfoundland Attachment is when one individual seeks and maintains closeness to another. Using this broad definition, attachment can refer to interspecific bonds. As humans and dogs have cohabitated for ~14,000 years, it is reasonable to predict that this relationship shares the neurobiological underpinnings of other affiliative relationships. Recent work has shown that oxytocin (a prosocial hormone) increases when owners physically interact with their dogs, which parallels findings between mothers and infants. The current study investigated the behavioural and hormonal basis of attachment in 29 human-dog pairs by using the Ainswoth’s Strange Situation, adapted for dogs. Saliva samples to test for oxytocin and cortisol (a stress hormone) were taken throughout the videotaped social interactions. Owners also completed a dog personality inventory (MCPQ-R) and the Dog Attachment Questionnaire (DAQ). Thus far, the data suggest that while both male and female owners are attached to their dogs, women have higher DAQ scores than men. There is no apparent relationship between dog personality dimensions and attachment scores.
    • Indirect genetic effects in a social network: aggression among genotypes of D. melanogaster JB Saltz University of Southern California Indirect genetic effects (IGEs) describe how genetic variation in the traits of one individual can influence the traits of interacting individuals. IGE research has focused primarily on dyads. However, emerging insights from social networks suggest that one individual’s behavior can affect seemingly dyadic interactions among other individuals in the network. However, experimentally dissecting IGEs in social networks can be logistically demanding. Here, I introduce an approach—the “focal interaction” approach—which may elucidate the effects of IGEs in social networks in way that is tractable for many organisms. I illustrate the utility of this approach using a simple social network of aggressive interactions among genotypes of male D. melanogaster. I found that the behavior and the genotype of individuals in the network influenced interactions among males. IGEs were mediated by behavioral plasticity, which differed among genotypes. Further, an individual male did not have to directly participate in an aggressive encounter to exert IGEs. Male social behavior influenced male mating success, but IGEs in the network did not seem to have direct fitness consequences. Repeatability of egg-rejection behaviors by hosts of avian brood parasites across various timescales ME Hauber 1, P Samas 2, T Grim 2 1 Hunter College & Graduate Center, CUNY, 2 Palacky University Hosts of avian brood parasites defend their nests predominantly by egg rejection. Despite theoretical assumptions, only few studies have examined empirically how repeatable individual host responses are across various temporal scales, including within a breeding attempt (WBA), between breeding attempts within a breeding season (BBA), and between breeding attempts across different breeding seasons (BBS). Using experimental parasitism, we found that the rejection of non-mimetic eggs (blue redstart type model) by introduced European Blackbirds (Turdus merula), was overall highly repeatable (r ~0.70). Although the repeatability was highest at the shortest temporal scale (WBA), the repeatability estimates remained high (r ~0.6) when the intervals between observations were longer (BBA and BBS). Regarding the latency to ejection, another aspect of antiparasitic behaviors, we detected low repeatability (r ~0.20) across all time scales. These findings provide an impetus to study how sensitive theoretical models are to non-perfect repeatability of host behaviors against parasites. Funded by HFSP. Quantitative tests of countershading in fish N S Sanghera, J Partridge, I Cuthil University of Bristol There has been considerable debate over the benefit of the dorso-ventral colouring known as countershading. In terrestrial animals the primary theory is that the gradient will counteract the body’s shadow caused by ambient light. In aquatic species, notably fish, countershading is the most common colour pattern, recorded in almost every taxon. However, there is little research on whether the dorso-ventral colour gradient of any marine animal matches the quantitative predictions for camouflage. So whether countershading fish aids crypsis in a world with two distinct backgrounds (seafloor vs. seabed), or creates a uniform colour which blends into the veiling light viewed horizontally, until now has remained plausible but untested. Using life-size, anatomically accurate, uniformly coloured casts of several fish species, we took calibrated photographs underwater using natural light to quantify the pattern of illumination. The image data were used to make predictions of optimal patterns of countershading under different conditions including depth of occurrence and body shape. We present data from several experiments to highlight the pattern of deviation from predictions observed in real fish. Collective decision-making: Ants adjust attribute weights according to prior experience T Sasaki, SC Pratt Arizona State University Evolutionary theory predicts that animals act to maximize their fitness when choosing among a set of options, such as what to eat or where to live. Making the best choice is challenging when options vary in multiple attributes, and animals have evolved a variety of heuristics to simplify the task. Many of these involve weighing attributes according to their importance. However, importance can vary across time and place, hence animals might benefit by adjusting weights accordingly. Here we show that colonies of the ant Temnothorax rugatulus learn to place
    • greater weight on more informative attributes when choosing a nest site. These ants choose their rock crevice nests on the basis of multiple features, including entrance size and interior brightness. After exposure to an environment where one attribute better differentiated options than the other, colonies increased their reliance on the more informative attribute. Although many species show experience-dependent changes in selectivity of a single feature, this is the first evidence in animals for changes in the weighting of multiple attributes. We discuss how this collective-level flexibility emerges from individual behavior. The influence of genes and natal environment on testes development and body size in a cactus bug DA Sasson, CW Miller University of Florida An organism’s genetic make-up and natal environment can play a large role in its morphological, physiological, and behavioral development. In this study, we have explored the interaction of genes and the environment (GxE) on testes development and body size in the cactus bug, Narnia femorata. We are interested in three questions: 1) are testes development and body size heritable? 2) do males across natal environments differentially allocate resources to testes development and body size? 3) are there GxE interactions on testes development and body size? We investigated these questions using a half-sib split brood design across three naturalistic nutritional environments. Preliminary results suggest that both testes and body size are heritable, although heritability changes across environments. Additionally, males from the middle quality environment allocate proportionally fewer resources to testes development for a given body size than do males from either the high or low quality. However, we found no evidence for GxE interactions in either testes or body size, possibly due to the overwhelming effect of the environment on these traits. Effects of biparental care on temperament development in coyote offspring (Canis latrans) CJ Schell 1, EV Lonsdorf 2, JK Young 3, RM Santymire 1,4, JM Mateo 1 1. U Chicago, 2. Franklin & Marshall College, 3. Utah State U, USDA, 4. Lincoln Park Zoo Previous work on maternal effects has demonstrated that extended offspring interactions can impact offspring fitness. However, few studies have examined how biparental effects influence temperament traits, such as boldness and aggression. Our objective was to determine if biparental care was associated with offspring behavior in the coyote (Canis latrans). The study was conducted on captive coyote family units (parents and litters; n = 16) from 2011-13 at the National Wildlife Research Center in Millville, UT. Parenting activity was observed from 5-10 weeks of age. Pup temperament was evaluated using a domestic dog pup aptitude test (PAT), where higher PAT scores indicated greater boldness. Principal component analysis on parenting behaviors resulted in five components: sociality, provisioning, proximity, nurturing, and discipline. The maternal proximity component was negatively correlated with pup growth rates and PAT scores. The paternal discipline component (primarily explained by aggression to pups) was positively correlated with litter weight gain. Our data suggest several relationships may exist between parenting, pup boldness, and pup growth rates. Female and male preferences for large body size measured as preference functions. I Schlupp 1,2, K Heubel 3, MJ Ryan 2 1. University of Oklahoma, 2. University of Texas at Austin, 3 Universitaet Tuebingen We measured female and male preferences for body size in a small freshwater fish from Texas (USA), the Sailfin molly, Poecilia latipinna. This species has a promiscuous mating system with no paternal investment. Females invest heavily in the offspring and give birth to live offspring. Like in binary choice tests we found a female preference for larger males using preference functions. Using the same method, we also found that males prefer larger females. Our data allows for a comparison of the shapes of the female and male preference functions and helps evaluate the relative importance of female and male choice in Sailfin mollies. Checkmate: Exploring the signals that facilitate mate recognition and receptivity in a cephalopod. AK Schnell 1, CL Smith 1, RT Hanlon 2, R Harcourt 1 1. Macquarie Univ, 2. Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory Mate recognition signals provide information about gender, receptivity, familiarity and mate-quality. They range from body patterns to pheromones, and are used to recognise and choose potential mates. These signals mediate decisions to enact mating and facilitate reproductive success. Cuttlefish are known to communicate through visual signals and chemical cues; have keen vision but poor social recognition. The exact sensory cues used to
    • recognise assenting mates remain ambiguous. We explored the potential signals used for mate recognition in S.apama. Males were mated with a female; females were removed and replaced with one of four treatments (i.e. females) 1. familiar (just mated), 2. flushed familiar (spermatophores removed), 3. unfamiliar virgin, and 4. unfamiliar non-virgin. Males did not mate with familiar or flushed familiar females. Few males mated with unfamiliar virgins, despite virgins exhibiting postures suggestive of receptivity. Most males mated with unfamiliar non-virgins, regardless of female visual signals of non-receptivity. Results suggest that male cuttlefish pursue mates based on non-visual sensory cues (e.g. odour) or some aspect of sperm competition that is yet unknown. Frequency and location as auditory grouping cues in Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) KM Schrode, MA Bee University of Minnesota Many animals communicate in aggregations where signals often overlap, requiring listeners to group sounds by source. We know little about how animals do this. We tested the hypothesis that female treefrogs use proximity in the frequencies and locations of sounds as grouping cues. We broadcast synthetic calls modeled after male treefrogs’ pulsed advertisement calls, in which we varied the frequency and location of select pulses. We used calls that targeted specific auditory organs in frogs to test the hypothesis that the organs play separate roles in grouping. We predicted that the probability of grouping pulses into coherent calls would increase with increasing cue proximity, resulting in increased responses. Our results were generally consistent with our prediction, and there were interactions of both cues with end organ. We compared responses to an audiogram to test the hypothesis that a level-dependent mechanism mediates grouping in treefrogs. The comparison suggested results were level-dependent for sounds encoded by one auditory organ, but not the other. We conclude that the end organs separately mediate the use of frequency and location cues for grouping in female treefrogs. Conservation Behavior Implications for Understanding Behaviora Patterns of African Elephants BA Schulte 1,2, RW Blogg 2 1. Western Kentucky University, 2. Georgia Southern University Human-wildlife conflict is a conservation issue to which behavioral approaches can contribute. For wild species, interacting with humans is risky yet may yield high payoffs. While environmental conditions can drive individuals to invade human-dominated space, individuals with particular behavioral patterns may be prone to such intrusions. For example, heightened investigative tendencies may result in greater intrusion, or increased awareness and less intrusion. We studied elephants (Loxodonta africana) where the potential for conflict largely is prevented, reducing the influence of supplemental resources on behavior and personality traits. Adolescent and adult males exhibited distinct rates of chemosensory behavior, and adult males showed a strong correlation between chemosensory investigation of the environment and trunk tip contacts to conspecifics. Increased chemosensory behavior became evident during adolescence compared to female elephants. We are determining how differences in behavioral patterns relate to risk prone behavior. By identifying traits related to conflict with humans, we may be able modify such behavior to the benefit of both species. Social plasticity and pollination services in a changing climate R Schürch, J Field University of Sussex Pollination by bees is vital for agriculture, and how climate change will affect bee populations is of critical importance. We study this using field data and modelling in the sweat bee Halictus rubicundus. Halictus rubicundus is especially likely to be affected by climate change, as in northern populations, bees are solitary, with only the nest foundress provisioning, while in southern populations, bees are eusocial, with a foundress raising a brood of workers. The workers then help the foundress to provision males and gynes. We analysed data from the nest founding phase to pinpoint the temperatures that enable a foundress to be active. The optimum for provisioning lies around 21°C, and the minimum temperature is above 14°C. The number of workers produced depends on the number of trips a foundress can make in the critical nest-founding phase. Using simulated weather data from climate models, we can estimate worker numbers per nest for predicted climate scenarios. We found that while worker numbers in southern populations should remain stable, in northern populations we can expect a future shift from solitary to eusocial nests. This may mitigate the loss of managed pollinators.
    • Spontaneous male death and monogyny in the dark fishing spider SK Schwartz 1, WE Wagner 1, EA Hebets 1 1. U of Nebraska-Lincoln Monogyny is found in a diverse assemblage of taxa and recent theoretical work reveals that a male-biased sex ratio can favor the evolution of this relatively rare mating system. We integrate this theoretical framework with field observations and laboratory experiments involving the fishing spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, to test the prediction that this species exhibits monogyny. Field surveys revealed a male-biased sex ratio, likely resulting from early male maturation. Results from mating trials supported our prediction of monogyny as we discovered that males mate with a single female. Unexpectedly, we observed that mating results in obligate male death. Additional field observations of released individuals suggest that males are not limited by their ability to encounter additional females. Controlled laboratory assays demonstrated that males discriminate among virgin and non-virgin female silk cues, suggesting first-male sperm precedence. In summary, we report a novel form of male self-sacrifice in a species that exhibits female-biased sexual size dimorphism, male-biased sex ratio, and genital mutilation; all of which are consistent with theoretical predictions of the evolution of monogyny. Desert ants in different habitats use their navigational tool kit differently S Schwarz 1, P Schultheiss 1, C Bühlmann 2, R Wehner 3, K Cheng 1 1. Macquarie University, 2. Max-Planck Institute Jena, 3. Zürich University A good deal about insect navigation has been learned from the study of desert ants. Different species inhabiting different habitats, however, might differ in how they use their navigational toolkit. Desert ants inhabiting semi-arid habitats can see many tussocks, bushes, and even trees in their visual surround, while ants inhabiting salt-pans face a visually barren landscape. Our research has so far found that ants inhabiting bare habitats rely more on vector-based navigation, based on keeping track of the distance and direction traveled, while ants inhabiting visually cluttered habitats rely more on using the terrestrial panorama for visually guided navigation. When displaced from a feeder to a test location far away, the former ants run off a longer proportion of their vector before engaging in search behavior to look for terrestrial cues. Functional Communication Training for Dogs: PECS (Picture Exchange System) aids canine communication S Senechal 1, 2 1. AnimalSign 2. California State University, Monterey Bay Children with autism or communication challenges improve expressive communication through an ABA Program, Functional Communication Training, one named PECS. This involves a learner exchanging cards (for objects) with a person. Canines using gestures with objects (e.g. bringing a leash) appear to communicate wants (open door). Their gestures are often associated with the action the human performs. With PECS a dog would be able to communicate using cards, when an object is not present. Until now, PECS has not been taught to non-primate animals. The study hypothesis is that PECS can be taught and used by dogs to communicate mands (requests for foods). Two dogs were trained, and then tested, on PECS. During training the PECS protocol was used. During testing, controls were applied to prevent cueing or prompting; providing more rigor than what is used with children.Results demonstrate that after training, dogs can master PECS I and II. This supports the hypothesis that PECS, can be taught, and used by, dogs to communicate mands. Training functional communication expands our understanding of the communicative potential of other animals, as well as opens up new investigative areas. The Foundress' Dilemma: Group Selection for cooperation among queens of Pogonomyrmex californicus Z Shaffer, SC Pratt, J Fewell Arizona State University In some ants unrelated queens band together to found colonies (pleometrosis), a behavior that has been suggested as putative case of group selection. The hallmark of group selection is that while non-cooperative individuals outperform cooperative individuals within groups, purely cooperative groups should outperform groups containing such ‘defectors’. In the seed harvester ant Pogonomyrmex californicus, queens typically found nests alone (haplometrosis), but some populations are pleometrotic. We used this behavioral polymorphism to test whether pleometrosis might be explained by group selection. In laboratory nests we created groups composed of either six queens from a pleometrotic population or five such queens plus one from a haplometrotic population. We observed their interaction and survival for 60 days. We found that both aggressive and non-aggressive individuals were present in both populations. Aggressive individuals survived longer and often killed their less aggressive
    • nest-mates, but groups without aggression had much greater individual and group survival than those with aggression, a finding that strongly supports the group selection hypothesis. Behavioral responses associated with a human-mediated predator shelter G Shannon, L Cordes, AR Hardy, LM Angeloni, KR Crooks Colorado State University Human activities in protected areas can affect wildlife in a similar manner to predation risk, causing increases in movement, vigilance, and shifts in habitat use and group size. Nevertheless, recent evidence indicates that ungulates may in fact utilize areas associated with higher levels of human presence as a potential refuge from disturbance-sensitive predators. We now use four-years of behavioral data from pronghorn and elk in Grand Teton National Park to determine whether predictable human activity can provide a shelter from predatory risk. Behavioral scans were conducted along two sections of road that differed in traffic volume, with the Teton Park Road experiencing vehicle use thirty-fold greater than at the River Road. As predicted by the ‘predator shelter hypothesis’, both species foraged less and formed larger groups at the quieter River Road, responses commonly associated with elevated predatory threat. Pronghorn also exhibited increased movement and alert behavior at the River Road. Our results demonstrate that ungulates can use human presence as a refuge from predation risk, which has the potential to alter predator-prey interactions and impact ecosystem function. Case Report: Eliminating Food-Stealing Behavior in Cats MR Shyan-Norawlt Collier County Domestic Animal Services This consultation was about food stealing in two cats, Violetta and Vito (brother/sister, neutered/spayed, 3.5 years). Both were adopted at 2 months from a rescue shelter after being found living along a lake “starving.” They live with their two adult owners and a third, older cat (male, neutered, 12 years old). Problem: they were “obsessed with food: would eat anything, bread, beans, tomatoes, butternut squash soup, dried pasta, etc.” They jumped onto kitchen counters, into the sink, onto kitchen table during human-meal times to steal food, right in front of owners. They opened pantry doors and ripped open food bags. Owners tried yelling, squirting with water, using a Scram gun (high frequency noise). Owners’ veterinarian said the cats were “at a good weight,” so owners were feeding them the “right amount of food" and should not increase it. Cats were eating so quickly, they would throw up whole kibble. Presentation will discuss the combination strategy used: changing diet, free feeding, gradual reduction of availability: the success and failure of these. Oviposition preference indicates adaptive behavior of ladybugs in central Brazil PR Sicsu 1,2, BLR Oliveira 1, AA Vieira 1, CA Muniz 1,2, ER Sujii 2, RHF Macedo 1 1. Univ de Brasilia, Brazil 2. Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Brazil Maternal effects strongly influence offspring performance, thus oviposition preferences may affect female fitness. Our objectives were to: (1) evaluate if aphidophagous ladybugs prefer specific plants to oviposit; and (2) investigate if aphids associated with ladybug clutches in nature are more adequate food for ladybug offspring development compared with other aphids. In the laboratory, Cycloneda sanguinea females were associated with three plant species infested with Uroleucon aphids. Additionally, larvae of three ladybug species (C. sanguinea, Harmonia axyridis, Hippodamia convergens) were reared with Uroleucon versus Brevicoryne aphids and their survival, developmental period, adult weight and coloration were measured. C. sanguinea females laid more eggs on Bidens pilosa and Tithonia diversifolia than on Sonchus oleraceus. Results relative to offspring survival and adult characteristics met with our expectations relative to the association between aphids and ladybug clutches in nature. Thus, ladybugs prefer specific sites to oviposit and chosen places provide adequate conditions for offspring development and influence adult traits, thus suggesting female adaptive behavior. Water striders exhibit remarkably, rapid, reversible plasticity in their entire mating system A Sih 1, S Fogarty 1, P-O Montiglio 2, T Wey 1 1. University of California at Davis, 2. University of Quebec at Montreal Stream water striders are a model system for the study of male-female sexual conflict where males actively harass females and single females hide from males. Females heavily resist male mating attempts, but if males overcome female resistance, they ride on the females’ back for 2-10 hrs, keeping other males from mating with that female. We recently found, however, that in smaller pools with only 3 males and 3 females, a very different ‘alpha male’
    • mating system frequently emerged where 1 male drove the other 2 into hiding, but did not harass the females. Females were thus on the water, often feeding. Because the alpha male need not guard females when all other males have been driven into hiding, mating durations were < 1 hr. When we moved the same animals back and forth between smaller and larger pools, the entire mating system switched back and forth within days, or even hours! Interestingly, not all small pools developed alpha male systems. Three other identifiable alternative systems also emerged. The rapid, reversible plasticity in this system allows us to study in unusual detail how individual behaviors and group social dynamics govern alternative mating systems . Developing theory to explain variation in behavioral response to human-induced environmental change A Sih U of California at Davis A major issue in conservation behavior is the need to understand variation in ability of animals to cope behaviorally with human-induced rapid environmental change (HIREC: climate change, novel habitats and species, pollutants, human exploitation). Some animals are adjusting well to the modern world (some so well that they are pests), while others are falling into evolutionary traps. While there are a rapidly growing number of case studies on behavioral responses to HIREC, to date, the field is largely descriptive; i.e., the field lacks explicit theory that generates predictions that empiricists can then test. Here, I present a theoretical/ conceptual framework and illustrate the framework using three types of models: 1) bet hedging models to explore conditions when generalists should indeed respond well to HIREC; 2) signal detection theory that yields predictions on responses to novel ‘options’ (predators, humans, resources); and 3) adaptive plasticity theory that makes predictions on which organisms should shift the timing of major life history events (e.g., onset of reproduction, migration) in response to climate change. Each model generates new predictions or insights. The role of a fluctuating environment on multimodal signals RK Simpson, KJ McGraw 1Arizona State University Many animals communicate using more than one modality (e.g. acoustic, visual), and several hypotheses have arisen to explain the evolution of multiple signals. These hypotheses typically assume static selection pressures and fail to acknowledge how environmental fluctuations over time or space can shape variation in signaling systems. Environmental variability, such as food availability and ambient lighting, may affect the costs and benefits of trait development and information content in signalers as well as signal perception and value in receivers. We are studying how the form and function of multiple signals in a tropical songbird change due to spatiotemporal environmental fluctuations. We are testing how intra- and inter-annual variation in light environment and ambient noise influences the transmission, perception, and reliability of song and coloration in the red-throated ant-tanager in Panama. We will present data on the variation and condition-dependence of ant-tanager signals as well as on how light environment and ambient noise correlate with signal production and use. This study should fill an important gap in our understanding of the evolution of multiple signals. Seminal fluid protein allocation changes with intrinsic and extrinsic conditions in D. melanogaster LK Sirot 1, S Wigby 2 1. College of Wooster, 2. University of Oxford In many insects, receipt of seminal fluid proteins (SFPs) decreases the likelihood of female re-mating and increases egg production. If ejaculate components are costly to produce and the quantity transferred affects male reproductive success, theory predicts that these components should be strategically allocated. This prediction is supported for sperm allocation in many species. However, less information is available for SFP allocation. Our previous work suggests that male Drosophila melanogaster adjust SFP allocation in response to female mating status and exposure to other males. In our current work, SFP production and transfer was affected by larval rearing condition. Males that developed at high densities were smaller and produced lower amounts of SFPs than males reared at low densities. Yet, the small males matched large males in the quantity of a key SFP transferred to females. Females reared at high densities were also smaller and received lower quantities of this SFP than females reared at low densities. Together, our research suggests that males adjust the SFP composition of their ejaculate in response to both intrinsic and extrinsic conditions.
    • Mechanisms of adaptive hearing for social communication: recent insights from a vocal fish JA Sisneros U of Washington Acoustic communication plays an important role in the social behaviors of vocal teleost fishes in the family Batrachoididae (midshipman and toad fishes). The midshipman fish is a well-established neuroethological model that has provided insights into neural and endocrine mechanisms of vocal-acoustic communication shared by all vertebrates, in part, because the reproductive success of this species is highly dependent on acoustic communication. The plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus), like other teleost fishes, use the saccule as the main organ of hearing and to detect and locate “singing” males that produce multiharmonic advertisement calls during the breeding season. Previous work showed that the seasonal changes in auditory peripheral sensitivity were modulated by a steroid-dependent mechanism. Recent work has shown that these seasonal changes in auditory sensitivity are concurrent with seasonal increases in saccular hair cell density and may also be modulated by a direct steroid effect. In this talk, I will discuss why this auditory plasticity may represent an adaptation in the midshipman to enhance mate detection and localization during the breeding season. Training and Learning in Olfactory Enrichment in Captive Birds of Prey MJ Slater 1,2, ME Hauber 3 1. Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society, 2. Graduat Center, CUNY, 3. Hunter College, CUNY The use of smell is widespread amongst birds in both foraging and social contexts, and may provide an important substrate for sensory and cognitive enrichment activity for captive birds. This project explored the efficacy of olfactory enrichment in five species of Old and New world birds of prey, housed at the Bronx Zoo’s Eagle Aviary. Some of these species are thought to rely on olfaction for foraging, but others are considered anosmic. We examined spontaneous behavioral responsiveness and olfactory discrimination to hidden food items, using pairing of food with biologically irrelevant scents. Hiding and olfactory enrichment were demonstrated to be effective means of adding complexity to current foraging activities in most individuals exposed to the manipulation. The outcome of this study is suggestive that olfaction plays a larger role in the natural history of some birds of prey than originally understood. The small sample sizes limit the conclusions that can be directly drawn but the potential use of olfactory cues for captive birds’ enrichment is clear. There is certainly value in replicating this study at other zoos that house similar species of birds of prey. Kinship and cooperative alliances in mammalian societies JE Smith Mills College In 1964, W.D. Hamilton proposed a novel solution to the long-standing evolutionary puzzle: why do individuals cooperate? The possibility that kin selection might favor the evolution of social behavior has now generated five decades of active research. Here I evaluate this evidence for social mammals. Because cooperative breeding has been dealt with extensively elsewhere, I focus on less well understood, yet equally salient, targets of selection: social partner choice, social tolerance (withholding aggression), and coalition formation. This synthesis reveals that the kin discrimination and kin-biased social alliances are prolific in mammalian societies. Surprisingly, however, the protective value of kinship with respect to curtailing aggression appears limited. Interestingly, although paternity data remain remarkably sparse, nepotism is often directed towards maternal and paternal kin but biases for maternal (over paternal) kin generally exceed those predicted by coefficients of relatedness. The tackling of unanswered questions will require the assemblage of additional pedigrees and more precise measures of fitness correlates of cooperation in natural populations than are currently available. Sex, steroids and stress: why do males and females respond differently to the same conditions? K. Smith 1, K. Weldon 1, K. Fanson 2 1 Macquarie Univ, 2 Deakin Univ Repeated exposure to novel stimuli can alter behavioral and physiological responses to stressors. Males and females often exhibit different responses to the same stressor. However, it is unclear whether prior experience affects males and females differently. We predict that these sex differences should continue even after exposure to novel stressors. To test this, we created two groups of birds of both sexes. The treatment group was repeatedly exposed to a novel stressor and the control group was left undisturbed. We then tested all birds in three increasingly novel conditions. Birds were tested twice, and we monitored physiology (fecal glucocorticoid
    • metabolites; FGM) and behavior (head turns). For females, prior exposure to a stressor decreased FGM response during the testing phase. Furthermore, control females appeared to habituate quickly; FGM values were lower for the second set of tests. In contrast, FGM responses in males did not differ between treatment groups or testing sessions. Behavioral responses varied across the three stimuli, but there were few differences between treatment groups. Results are discussed in the context of the function of sex differences. Impacts of changing sodium availability on neural and muscle development E Snell-Rood, A Espeset, C Boser, E Swanson University of Minnesota Sodium is an important micronutrient for the development and functioning of neural and muscle tissue. However, we know little about how changing sodium availability, in particular through road salt runoff, is impacting behavioral traits. In this work, we use butterflies as a model to investigate the impacts of changing sodium because past work has established the sodium is an important limiting micronutrient for Lepidoptera. We first measured how road salt has impacted the nutrition of roadside plants – for instance, roadside milkweed has 16 times more sodium than expected. Second, we reared monarchs on road-side and prairie-collected milkweed, and found sex-specific effects on the development of eyes and flight muscle. Finally, we reared cabbage white butterflies on an artificial diet that varied in sodium content, and found effects on the development of flight muscle and are currently measuring impacts on brain development. Taken together, these results suggest that increases in sodium availability may impact behavioral traits such as flight or vision. However, more data are needed to determine at what point increasing sodium availability becomes stressful. A Geography of Fear: Evolutionary and Conservation Applications T Stankowich California State University Long Beach Predation risk is a significant factor in the evolution of prey morphology and behavior. In order to understand how natural selection due to predation influences antipredator defenses, we must estimate the potential for predation risk without regard for actual mortality or the presence of any defensive strategy: species under greater potential risk should be more likely to possess effective defenses. The Geography of Fear database uses GIS and natural history data to estimate potential predation risk for mammals from other mammalian and avian predators. These valuable estimates of predation risk are useful in studies of geographic variation in single species, community ecology, and comparative studies of morphological and behavioral evolution. Danger maps are also available for visualization of risk over a species range, and may be useful in locating suitable low-risk habitats for species reintroduction or relocation. This presentation will cover the methodology and examples of how the database is currently being used. Long-term nongenetic paternal effects on offspring behavior and life history in stickleback L. R. Stein, A. M. Bell University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign If parents can provide offspring with reliable information about predation risk, then parental effects might positively influence offspring fitness. However, parental stress due to predation can negatively influence offspring via maternal stress on embryos or by altering parental behavior. Research on maternal effects has found evidence for both the adaptive and parental stress hypotheses, yet little is known about the effect of fathers on offspring. We exposed nesting threespine stickleback fathers to a model predator (control: no predator), then tested their offspring’s antipredator behavior and cortisol response when the offspring were sexually mature. Consistent with the adaptive hypothesis, offspring of predator-exposed fathers (O:P) showed increased antipredator behavior. However, there was also evidence in support of the parental stress hypothesis: O:P were smaller and in poorer condition, and male O:P had reduced nuptial coloration as adults. In addition, we found that male O:P had a lower cortisol response to predation risk. These results suggest that fathers can influence behavior and life history traits of offspring in both positive and negative ways well into adulthood. Prey switching by wolf in a moose-caribous system: Empirical evidence of apparent competition MH St-Laurent1, S Tremblay-Gendron1, C. Dussault2 1. University of Quebec at Rimouski, 2 Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources and Wildlife Predators could seek for high prey densities, for the more vulnerable preys or for preys’ resources. In the wolf –
    • moose – caribou ecological system, studying wolf behaviour is essential to understand the community functioning and orient caribou conservation efforts. The apparent competition hypothesis states that prey coexistence could occur if the predator (wolf) focuses its predation on the most competitive prey (moose). Using wolf, moose and caribou telemetry locations, we showed that wolf movements are influenced by local prey densities and by preys’ resources, but also that wolves were most of all seeking for habitat conditions increasing prey vulnerability. Moreover, wolves’ focus appeared to switch from moose to caribou when local caribou densities were high. We conclude that wolf behavioural flexibility could imperil caribou – moose coexistence, especially when caribou are confined at higher local densities within suitable habitat patches embedded in a highly disturbed landscape matrix. Our study is the first empirical, mechanistic demonstration of the apparent competition hypothesis in an ecological system where wolves are supported by multiple prey species. Signal-sense mismatch and the gymnotiform solution PK Stoddard Florida International Univ Signals may be selected for environmental transmission or to match pre-existing sensory biases of the receiver, but external and internal constraints on signal adaptation can leave a gap in this match. A residual mismatch pressures receivers to optimize their sensory systems to detect the communication signal. But sensory systems often serve multiple functions that cannot be optimized simultaneously. Gymnotiform electric fish signal both for active electrolocation and communication and so face these problems of signal-sensory matching. Gymnotiforms seasonally retune their signals under regulation of sex steroids, with males and females diverging in spectral frequency. Sex steroids re-tune the peripheral electroreceptors to the fish’s own signal, not that of the opposite sex – active electrolocation beats out communication with the opposite sex. Receivers resolve the sexual mismatch through central mechanisms that enhance signal detection: parallel signal processing and heterodyne analysis. Male signalers circumvent the spectral mismatch by transiently synthesizing low frequency energy that stimulates ampullary electroreceptors normally insensitive to conspecific electric signals. Effects of perceived male availability on female selectivity in a wolf spider B Stoffer, GW Uetz University of Cincinnati Theory predicts mate preferences will vary based on operational sex ratios (OSRs) in the population and/or the potential availability (perceived density) of mates. Male Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders mature two weeks before females, allowing females to assess potential mate availability before maturation. Previous studies have shown juvenile exposure influences adult female mate-choice in Schizocosa spp., but the role of OSR and potential mate availability is unknown. We used video playback to simulate different levels of male density and perceived sex ratio that females experienced as penultimate juveniles. Females were exposed to one or three courting males (equal or male-biased sex OSR) at a frequency of once every two days or twice per day (low or high male density). Adult females were presented videos of courting males with small or large leg tufts. Female receptivity towards males with large tufts increased significantly with the cumulative number of males that females were exposed to as juveniles, demonstrating that females are more selective as they encounter more males. Results suggest that invertebrates can demonstrate mate-choice plasticity depending on their social environment. The evolution of property and prizatization Joan E. Strassmann Washington U in St. Louis An important problem for organisms is how to ensure future availability of resources in the face of competition. Privatization is one solution. With it one can limit a resource to oneself or one's family, then use the resource prudently. Foraging grounds, seeds, burrows, hollow trees, and other shelters are examples of property. Examples of actions that privatize include enclosure, engulfment, territoriality, caching, and nest building. Property may be defended by aggression or concealment, by individuals or groups. Because property can be retained for future use, it can be enhanced in simple ways like a spider web that enhances prey capture over a stream, or in complex ways like a huge nest for the farms of fungus-farming ants. Privatization is a less-discussed solution to the tragedy of the commons where other solutions involve cooperative actions like policing or high relatedness.
    • Predator learning and toxicity in a putative Müllerian mimicry complex in Peru AM Stuckert 1, RA Saporito 2, K Summers 3 1. East Carolina University, 2. John Carroll University Recent research suggests that distinct color pattern morphs of the mimic poison frog, Ranitomeya imitator, are Müllerian mimics of different sympatric model species in different geographic regions of northern Peru. We tested a central tenet of the Müllerian mimicry hypothesis: that predators will learn to avoid the mimic when exposed to the model and vice-versa. Chickens (Gallus domesticus) exposed to a spotted morph of R. imitator learned to avoid the putative model, R. variabilis, and vice-versa, supporting the claim that this system functions as a Müllerian mimicry complex. Tests with a distinct striped morph indicate that some predators may generalize aversion to the spotted and striped morphs of R. imitator. We further investigated the hypothesis of Müllerian mimicry by testing the prediction that all morphs and species involved in the complex are toxic. Analysis of extracts from the skin of the four major morphs of R. imitator and four putative model species/populations demonstrated the presence of alkaloid toxins in all cases, consistent with a key tenet of Müllerian mimicry. We discuss these results and highlight the potential importance of automimicry in this system. Mitigation of competition to achieve cooperation in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) M Suchak 1,2, J Watzek 2, FBM de Waal 1,2 1. Emory U, 2. Yerkes National Primate Research Center Competitive tendencies are often thought to override cooperative tendencies in chimpanzees. As a result, many captive studies of cooperation have sought to reduce competition by testing subjects in pairs and eliminating opportunities for freeloading. However, wild chimpanzees appear to be able to manage competition to engage in cooperation. We tested whether chimpanzees could overcome two sources of competition—competition for access to the task and freeloading—during a cooperative pulling task conducted in a group setting. We compared two groups of chimpanzees, one highly stable group that had been together for over 20 years (n=11) and one newly introduced, highly unstable group (n=14). Both groups succeeded at solving the task, with hundreds of cooperative pulls across 28 test sessions. Competition took different forms in each group. In the highly stable group there was more freeloading, whereas in the less stable group there was more competition for access to the apparatus, resulting in displacements. Both groups, however, developed counter-tactics to achieve a high degree of success. These results suggest that chimpanzees can flexibly mitigate competition to engage in cooperation. The Leopard Stalks First: Behavioral Insights from Conservation Work in the Masai Mara, Kenya A Sutton1, E Kamande2 1 Duke University 2 The Anne K. Taylor Fund, Kenya In the East African Rift Valley ecosystem, human-wildlife conflict is the leading cause of population decline for lions, leopards, wild dogs, and hyena. Conservationists are active in this region, but have traditionally relied heavily on broad approaches to conflict resolution that integrate only limited aspects of animal behavior and ethology. As part of a broader conservation evaluation project, I explored the relationship between animal behavior and humanwildlife conflict through 100+ citizen science interviews with Maasai cattle owners living along the western border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Interviewees possessed a strong knowledge of regional wildlife and were provided a number of behavioral insights about the seven most common local predators (lion, leopard, hyena, wild dog, honey badger, jackal & baboon). Interviewees yielded information about: (i) observed distributions of predator species; (ii) observed hunting strategies of various predator species (e.g. ambush vs. snatch-and-grab vs. stalking vs. distraction); and (iii) the role of animal behavior in exacerbating conflict with humans (e.g. perceived danger of wild dogs 'teasing' young [ages 7 - 13] Maasai herders. Using animal behavior to improve human health and safety: deterring birds from crops and airport JP Swaddle, G Mahjoub, E Dieckman, M Hinders College of William and Mary Pest birds cause billions of dollars of damages annually in the US, through crop destruction, damage to recreational facilities, and bird-aircraft strikes. In Developing Nations some bird species are known to devastate subsistence farmers’ crops. Previous technologies used to deter pest birds have generally failed as birds quickly habituate to the scare regimes. Hence, there is tremendous interest in controlling the distribution of damaging pest birds. Many pest bird species are highly vocal and rely on auditory communication for multiple aspects of their life history. Based on the detrimental effects of noise pollution on song birds, we hypothesize that masking noise
    • designed to prevent vocal communication will displace many pest bird species. We tested this hypothesis by producing highly spatially-controlled nets of sound designed to block communication among European starlings and observed whether these sound nets excluded starlings from food sources. Noise broadcast between 2 and 10 kHz reduced the amount of time that starlings spent in food patches and the amount of food eaten, indicating that sound nets can help protect socio-economically important resources. Insights into the communication of the "purring" wolf spider, Gladicosa gulosa AL Sweger, GW Uetz University of Cincinnati Early observations of the "purring" wolf spider Gladicosa gulosa (Araneae: Lycosidae) describe an audible, airborne sound produced by males that can be heard up to several meters away. Although coupled with a simultaneous vibratory signal used in courtship, the production of this signal is unusual in that the spider itself does not possess any known structures for detecting airborne sound. This poses several questions regarding this behavior and the pressures that may have driven its initial and continuing evolution within the communication network of this species. In the field, I recorded activity data, movement patterns, and in situ recordings of male courtship, as well as environmental data. In the lab, I conducted isolated vibratory and acoustic recordings of individual male spiders. Additionally, I compared the morphology of the sound-producing organs of this species with several other genera within the family Lycosidae. These data may shed some light on the mechanisms underlying both the physical production of the sound and its potential role in the sexual behavior of this species. Female ornamentation, incubation rhythms, and offspring quality in a warbler CC Taff University of California, Davis Studies of sexual selection often focus on the fitness costs and benefits of signaling in males. In many species, however, both males and females possess elaborate signals and a complete understanding of sexual selection should explain these traits in both sexes. Female ornaments could arise as nonfunctional byproducts of sexual selection in males, but could also serve as signals of female quality that function in mate choice and that are maintained by sexual or natural selection. One important behavior that may be signaled by female ornamentation is the ability to effectively incubate eggs during the critical stages of development. Here, we quantify individual variation in female incubation behavior in Common Yellowthroats using thermal sensors to log over 6,000 on and off bouts from 38 females on 69 nests. Individual variation in the length of incubation bouts was correlated with carotenoid based female plumage coloration and nestlings with high incubating mothers were larger than nestlings from low incubating mothers. Taken together, these data suggest that female ornamentation signals incubation behavior and may be a target of sexual selection. Vocal mimicry and syntax complexity in oscines BN Taft University of Wisconsin - Parkside Vocal mimicry by songbirds seems to be a unitary phenomenon: a bird from one species utters some characteristic sound from another species. Dozens, if not hundreds, of species perform this feat, and there does not seem to be a unitary explanation for why. Historical approaches to explaining the phenomenon of mimicry have focused on its potential usefulness. Deception, where the mimic causes mistaken identity, is a common application of visual mimicry, and there are some instances where vocal mimics seem to benefit from deceiving listeners. Elaboration, where the mimic inflates its song repertoire by copying ambient sounds, also seems to be important for some mimics. However, there are many species in which copying other species' sounds occurs with no apparent function whatsoever. As an alternative to the functional hypothesis, I propose that mimicry results from phylogenetically conservative combinations of cognitive factors that govern the organizational structure of songs. Specifically, there should be a tradeoff between mimicry and intricate syntax. I will present a phylogenetic survey of mimicry and syntax complexity in oscines to test this hypothesis. Re-thinking Leks: Inconsistent Data and a New Hypothesis Z Tang-Martinez 1, A Dunlap 1, S Braude 2 1 University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2 Washington University-St. Louis Mating on leks has been observed in a broad range of vertebrate and invertebrate taxa. The underlying
    • assumptions of the Lek Paradox, as originally defined by Borgia (1979), are that males aggregate only to perform courtship displays and females visit to mate with the best male. Males are expected to mate with all willing females, while females are expected to be coy and choosy, leading to high reproductive skew among males. In fact, the assumption of extreme skews in male mating and reproductive success (RS) is so pervasive that Hoglund and Alatalo (1995) stated that “high variance in male mating success is typical for leks”. However, recent data have identified a number of lekking species in which females mate and produce young with multiple males, and in which male variance in RS is much lower than expected. In some species females are sexually aggressive; in others males are choosy. Females may also visit leks without mating and may subsequently mate with males outside of the lek. In light of these new data we offer an alternative hypothesis for the evolution and function of leks. Non-linear interactions among multimodal signal components result in perceptual rescue RC Taylor 1, MJ Ryan 2,3 1. Salisbury University, 2 University of Texas at Austin, 3, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Several studies have documented multimodal signaling in anuran courtship. The process by which females integrate complex signal components to make mate choice decisions, however, remains poorly understood. In a series of two-choice experiments we used a robotic frog with an inflatable vocal sac, combined with acoustic playbacks, to test mate preference in female túngara frogs. We tested preference for: i) a temporally synchronous multimodal signal (vocal sac inflating in-phase with a call), ii) a temporally asynchronous multimodal signal (vocal sac inflation following a call), and iii) an interleaved multimodal signal (vocal sac inflation “sandwiched” between two call components). Females expressed a preference for the synchronous multimodal signal. In the second experiment, females reversed their preference and strongly rejected the asynchronous multimodal signal, favoring the call only. When we interleaved the vocal sac inflation between two different call components, this rescued the preference for the multimodal signal. Our data suggest that perceptual integration in multisensory space may yield emergent psychological percepts that generate selection for complex signals. Vocal duet coordination in happy wrens CN Templeton1, PJB Slater1, NI Mann2 1 University of St Andrews, 2 SUNY Oneonta Some birds are justifiably famous for producing highly coordinated vocal duets. Pairs can sing with such temporal precision that it sounds as if just one individual is singing. Further, many species have large, sex-specific song repertoires and use pair-specific ‘duet codes,’ where they reply to each of their mate’s songs with a different song type. How do birds select the appropriate reply song and coordinate these impressive duets? We tested these questions in wild happy wrens (Pheugopedius felix) using a series of playback experiments. We isolated the male or female and played back recordings of its mate’s songs and examined its behavioral and vocal responses. Remarkably, birds often replied to the very first song we played and did so in just a fraction of a second to create perfectly timed duets. In this very brief period of time they succeed in recognizing that the playback sound was their mate, made the decision to respond, selected the appropriate reply song type from a large repertoire of song types, and determined the appropriate timing to sing immediately after the playback. We discuss the exciting physiological and cognitive implications of this behavior. Signature whistle models in wild bottlenose dolphins T Thean1, L Sayigh2, A Kershenbaum3, R Wells4, V Janik5 1.Princeton U, 2.Woods Hole Ocean Inst, 3.Nat Inst of Math & Bio Synthesis, 4.Chicago Zoological Soc, 5.U St Andrews Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) develop signature whistles – stereotyped, individually distinctive whistles that remain stable throughout the dolphin’s lifetime – to convey identity information and maintain group cohesion. Young calves are capable of vocal learning and may incorporate whistle modulation patterns from community members into their own signature whistles during development. However, it is unclear which individual dolphins the calves use as acoustic models. Using 69 wild calves recorded in Sarasota Bay, Florida during 1984-2012, we sought to identify a relationship between the strength of a calf’s association with other dolphins during its development and the similarity between their whistles. A dynamic time-warping metric yielded no correlations while visual comparison showed some correlation in males, which suggests that males and females play by different rules in whistle development. Advertising lineage may affect male dominance or alliances, and males may benefit from being recognizable to kin. These results suggest that calves employ a variety of strategies for developing whistles.
    • Symbiotic bacteria mediate hyena social odors KR Theis, A Venkataraman, JA Dycus, KD Koonter, EN Schmitt-Matzen, AP Wagner, KE Holekamp, TM Schmidt Michigan State University All animals harbor microbes. These microbes potentially benefit their hosts by increasing the diversity and efficacy of their communication signals. The fermentation hypothesis for chemical communication posits that bacteria in mammalian scent glands generate odorous metabolites used by hosts for signaling, and variation in host chemical signals is a product of underlying variation in bacterial communities within glands. Testing this hypothesis requires accurate surveys of scent gland bacterial communities and complementary data on the odor profiles of scent secretions—both historically lacking. We used next-generation sequencing to deeply survey bacterial communities in scent glands of wild spotted and striped hyenas. We show 1) these communities are dominated by fermentative bacteria, 2) community structures strongly covary with odor profiles of scent secretions in both hyena species, 3) bacterial and odor profiles of secretions differ between spotted and striped hyenas, and 4) both profiles vary with sex and reproductive state among spotted hyenas within a social group. Our results provide the first strong support the fermentation hypothesis for mammalian chemical communication. The influence of behavioral syndromes on mate preference in zebrafish (Danio rerio) SE Thomason, RD Howard Purdue University Behavioral syndromes are suites of correlated behaviors observed in one or more contexts (usually social or aggressive contexts). I evaluated behavioral syndromes in zebrafish (Danio rerio), and assessed female mate preference for male syndromes. Mate preference was also evaluated with respect to female behavioral syndromes. Both sexes were tested for sociality and risk-taking syndromes; males were also tested for aggression. Data on sociality and risk-taking were estimated by time spent thrashing (vigorous swimming against the sides of the tank) near (or away from) a shoal or predator. Males differed in level of aggression based on chase time and number of bites in male-male encounters. However, there was no relationship between aggression and risk-taking or sociality. Lastly, I allowed female zebrafish to choose between aggressive and non-aggressive males to determine their mating preferences. Females showed no preference for either male type, and preference was not related to female behavioral syndromes. Functional referential and inentional communication in competitive and collaborative dog object play AM Thornburg, B Smuts University of Michigan Several studies show that domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) fulfill the six criteria described for chimpanzees by Leavens (2004) and Leavens et al. (2004, 2005) for functionally referential and intentional communication (hereafter FRIC) in their interactions with humans about inaccessible toys and food. For example, dogs indicate the location of hidden food by looking back and forth between the food and a human. In this pilot study we tested whether dogs exhibit FRIC amongst themselves when playing with objects. We coded multiple bouts of videotaped object play in one pair of dogs over a period of 18 weeks and analyzed gaze alternation between the object and the partner, head and body orientation, body language, gestures, vocalizations and other behaviors. These interactions met all six criteria for FRIC, including persistence and elaboration. In addition, over time this pair used FRIC to shift from primarily competitive to primarily collaborative play with objects. As far as we know, this is the first systematic documentation of FRIC in the service of collaborative object play within any non-primate species. Socially modulated endocrine titers mediate transitions between conflict and cooperation Elizabeth A. Tibbetts U of Michigan Hamilton transformed the way we think about the evolution of cooperation and conflict. One of his insights was that conflict exists within even the most cooperative societies. As a result, fitness in social groups depends, in part, on an individual’s ability to manage the transitions between cooperation and conflict. Hormones may play a key role in modulating these transitions. Hormones and behavior have reciprocal relationships, as endocrine titers both influence and respond to the social environment. The reciprocal relationships between hormones and behavior are often studied during competition. However, rapid modulation of endocrine titers may also facilitate the establishment of stable cooperative groups. Polistes paper wasps form societies that combine conflict and cooperation; nest founding queens engage in intense aggressive competition over reproductive opportunities, but
    • also form stable associations with minimal aggression. Our results show that juvenile hormone titers rapidly change in response to social context and play a role in both conflict and cooperation in paper wasp societies. Flexible mate choice when mates are rare and time is short RM Tinghitella 1, EG Weigel 2, M Head 3, JW Boughman 2 1. University of Denver, 2. Michigan State University, 3. University of Exeter Female mate choice is dynamic and depends on both extrinsic and intrinsic factors. The manner in which animals alter mating behavior when encountering environmental variation should depend on both pre-existing plasticity and changes in plastic responses that take place throughout their lives. We investigate how responses to the social mating environment (extrinsic) change as individuals age (intrinsic). We first conducted a field survey to examine the extent of natural variation in mate availability in a population of threespine sticklebacks. We then manipulated the operational sex ratio (OSR) in the laboratory to determine the impact of variation in mate availability on sexual signaling, competition, and mating decisions made throughout life. Field surveys revealed significant within season heterogeneity in OSR across breeding sites. In the lab, males invested most in sexual signaling late in life and competed most early in life. Females became more responsive to courtship over time, and those experiencing female-biased, but not male-biased OSRs, relaxed their mating decisions late in life. Age (intrinsic) and social experience (extrinsic), then, interact to affect female mating decisions. Phenotypic plasticity permitted the evolution of terrestrial reproduction in Dendropsophus treefrogs JC Touchon Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute The ability to reproduce away from water has evolved repeatedly in animals. However, the selective factors that drive this shift and the behavioral and developmental changes associated with moving eggs to land are not well understood. Using a group of South and Central American treefrogs in the genus Dendropsophus that span the transition from aquatic to terrestrial egg-laying, I have been studying variation in adult behavior and embryo development and physiology associated with reproduction. Aquatic egg-laying is ancestral in the group and obligate terrestrial reproduction has evolved at least once, with flexible reproduction being found in multiple species as the most likely intermediate stage. Furthermore, patterns of variation in egg size which have long been observed for aquatic and terrestrial breeding frogs (i.e., terrestrial eggs are generally larger) are mirrored within plastic species that range across the spectrum from mostly aquatic to mostly terrestrial breeding. This work strongly supports the hypothesis that phenotypic plasticity can provide a mechanism to evolve between seemingly discrete and alternative states. Fear or Food? The Olfactory Basis of Cannibalism in Hermit Crabs MV Tran Michigan State University Animals are constantly exposed to sensory cues that provide conflicting information about their environments and must use these conflicting cues to make appropriate behavioral decisions. For cannibalistic scavengers, the odors of injured conspecifics or heterospecifics are conflicting sensory cues because the odors could represent either the proximity of a food resource or the proximity of a predator (i.e., a recent predation event). Previous studies have shown that foraging cannibals exhibit caution when presented with such conflicting sensory cues, generally favoring anti-predation behaviors over foraging behaviors. However, in this study hermit crabs showed increased foraging behaviors instead of anti-predation behaviors when presented with the odors of crushed conspecifics and heterospecifics. Although they generally consumed both conspecifics and heterospecifics, test animals showed faster approach times and longer feeding times for dead heterospecifics than dead conspecifics. This suggests that hermit crabs can discern between conspecific and heterospecific odors, and perceive consuming dead conspecifics as more risky than consuming dead heterospecifics. What’s to eat? Carnivorous strategies in mammals M Tucker, T Ord, T Rogers University of New South Wales Terrestrial carnivorous mammals shift to feeding on larger sized prey when their body size is above 21kg to meet increasing energetic requirements. What happens to this relationship when marine carnivorous mammals are
    • included as differences associated with an aquatic lifestyle (e.g.changes to prey types used) may have altered that relationship. We investigate the relationship between predator and prey body mass, in addition to energetic requirements across 51 terrestrial and 56 marine carnivorous mammal species. We found that marine and terrestrial carnivores have evolved opposing predatory behaviours likely to minimise energy expenditure while maximising energy intake. Despite the high energetic requirements of large body mass, marine carnivores (>12 000kg) feed on small prey up to several magnitudes smaller than themselves. To meet energetic requirements large marine carnivores consume enormous quantities of small prey using specialised feeding apparatus and behaviors (e.g. baleen and bubble netting). We demonstrate that the relationship between predator and prey body mass differs between marine and terrestrial mammals due to differences in prey type, and predator morphology and behavior. Eavesdropping and social facilitation in wolf spider courtship. GW Uetz 1, DL Clark 2, JA Roberts 3, M Williams 1, B Stoffer 1, A Hollenberg 2 1. University of Cincinnati, 2. Alma College, 3. Ohio State University Newark We examined responses of field-collected and lab-reared male Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders to playback of computer-animated courtship behavior to test for eavesdropping and social facilitation. Field-collected males showed more and longer bouts of courtship in response to courting male stimuli, and discriminate male courtship from other behaviors; lab-reared males did not. Males exhibited significantly more courtship when presented with multiple males or video stimuli simultaneously. Learning experiments suggest that males associate courtship of others with presence of female cues. Video playback experiments introduced females to a courting (“primary”) male, followed by a second (“interloper”) male thirty seconds later. When the two males were identical, there was no subsequent effect on female receptivity, but females were more likely to be receptive toward interloper males with larger tufts. These findings suggest that social experience influences eavesdropping, enabling male wolf spiders to obtain information about rivals. Display complexity and social context in the Lance-tailed Manakin CC Vanderbilt, EH DuVal Florida State University Many animal displays important for sexual selection vary in temporal patterning and element diversity, and this complexity may be important in mate choice and male competition. Species where males incorporate similar display elements across the key contexts of sexual selection provide a unique opportunity to investigate how display complexity changes with social context. I compared the complexity of inter- and intrasexual displays in the Lance-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) to understand how males vary displays with social context. This lekking species has complex, acrobatic displays that are used not only in courtship, but also in male-male interactions in the absence of females. I monitored display perches from February to May 2013 using HD video cameras with over 6,000 continuously recorded hours on a long-term field site in Panama. Using a subset of the recorded activity, I quantified the complexity (entropy) of displays in inter- and intrasexual contexts and analyzed variation using a linear mixed model to account for repeated individual and seasonal measures. This work provides insight into the importance of social context in complex displays and motor performance. Quantitative analysis of individual, group, and population-level aggregation metrics: a field study SV Viscido Winston-Salem State University Social groups frequently exhibit complex emergent properties such as sharply defined edges or cohesive shapes, but the relationships among these metrics have rarely been estimated for living animals. To test the hypothesis that individual, group, and population-level aggregation metrics are correlated, we recorded fiddler-crab flock movements in the field. We calibrated the video with scale points in fixed positions, and used computer programs to reconstruct individual trajectories and positions. Our results showed a strong correlation among certain metrics. For example, expanse, a group-level index, was negatively correlated with two population-level metrics: mean nearest-neighbor distance (r = -0.77, P < 0.001) and the number of extant groups (r = -0.75, P < 0.05). Similarly, net:gross displacement ratio, an individual-level index, was negatively correlated with nearest-neighbor distance (r = -0.72, P < 0.05). Conversely, metrics of a given level (e.g., group v. group) showed strong positive correlations. We conclude that individual behaviors, group properties, and population-level characteristics can strongly impact one another. Funding provided by NSF grant IOS-1149302.
    • Chase Away Sexual Selection Driven by Predation WE Wagner 1, OM Beckers 1,2 1. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2. Indiana University Natural and sexual selection are often thought to have opposing effects on the evolution of male traits, although few studies have tested this prediction. In the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps, females prefer male songs with faster and longer chirps. These song types, however, attract lethal parasitoid flies. Males that produce preferred songs thus have a higher risk of parasitism, as do the females that approach them. We tested the evolutionary effects of fly parasitism by comparing male and female traits among 12 populations that varied in parasitism risk. Males from high risk populations produced more attractive and riskier song types than males from low risk populations. This surprising result can potentially be explained by the effect of parasitism on female behavior. While parasitism risk did not affect female song preferences, females from high risk populations were less responsive to male song. These results suggest the predation may cause chase away sexual selection: females may evolve reduced responsiveness to male signals in response to predation costs, and as a result, males may need to produce riskier signals in order to overcome a higher female response threshold. Disease-dependent assortative mating in toads B Waldman, S Wojciechowski, M Cha, J Park, JR Chung, JY Yoon, J Shin, A Bataille Seoul National University Positive assortative mating can preserve genetically based local adaptations. Amphibians the world over are being infected by the virulent chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Certain major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles are known to confer resistance to Bd. Survivors of chytridiomycosis epizootics thus might be selected to choose mates with which they share resistant MHC alleles to ensure that their progeny inherit Bd resistance even at the cost of decreased overall immunocompetent range. Over 3 years, we observed mating behavior in several populations of the Asiatic toad, Bufo gargarizans. We analyzed MHC alleles of males and females that we found in amplexus, as compared to random expectations. In Bd-infected populations, toads mated with partners whose MHC genotypes were more similar to their own. By contrast, we found MHC-disassortative or random mating in Bd-free populations. In choice experiments, females from infected but not disease-free populations preferentially approached odors of MHC-similar males, corroborating our field results. Thus, nonrandom mating in natural populations may result from a conditionally expressed MHC or kin recognition mechanism. Multitasking males & multiplicative females: dynamic signaling and receiver preferences in treefrogs JL Ward1, EK Love1, A Vélez1,2, NP Buerkle1, LR O’Bryan1, MA Bee1 1. University of Minnesota 2. Purdue University The ‘multitasking hypothesis’ for complex signal function predicts performance trade-offs between signal components that negatively co-vary (e.g. due to energetic or mechanical constraints) and receiver preferences for more extreme values of the negatively co-varying components that are difficult to produce simultaneously. We tested these two predictions in Cope’s grey treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis). We recorded and analysed calls from males in natural choruses to test the prediction that two signal components (call rate and call duration) negatively co-vary. We also conducted female mate choice trials to test the prediction that females prefer calls with higher overall ‘call efforts’ (call rate x call duration). We found that call rate and call duration were significantly negatively related and females preferred calls with higher call efforts. However, subsequent playback experiments revealed that although males dynamically adjusted call duration and rate, they did not increase call effort in response to perceived competition. These results suggest that male treefrogs may balance performance trade-offs in mate attraction with dynamic signal modifications in other social contexts. Paving the way: Why do rock wrens line their nests with stones? N Warning, L Benedict University of Northern Colorado The rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) is a common, yet understudied songbird occurring in rock-strewn areas throughout the Western United States. Rock wrens demonstrate a unique nest construction behavior in which they gather and deposit many small stones within the nest cavity, forming a "pavement". With some nests containing over 500 stones, this behavior represents a considerable energy investment, though the benefits to the wrens are unclear. We tested pavement function in 22 rock wren nests on public lands in Larimer County, CO from October
    • 2012 to February 2013, examining the cavity occlusion, dryness, and alarm system hypotheses. Stones significantly decreased cavity opening height and width by means of 1.6 and 3.1 cm respectively. Stone pavements significantly decreased water infiltration into the nests during simulated rainfall, indicating a dryness function. Stones also altered sound characteristics inside nests, and increased the noise levels emitted by simulated predators at nest openings. These data along with historical observations point to the multi-functionality of stone pavements, which provide clear benefits to rock wrens. Free Range Rabbits: Turning the Captive Research Environment On It's Ear. KA Wasko Drexel University College of Medicine Introduction: Although the quality and number of laboratory rabbits has improved over the last few decades, their behavioral and physiological well-being has essentially been inadequate, potentially harmful and neglected. There have been improvements in several areas of rabbit health. However, one essential area of animal welfare that has not improved is the caging environment, which has negative effects on animals. Objective: The traditional standard-sized single cages currently used for housing rabbits are inadequate to satisfy the animals' behavioral, physiological and psychological needs. Group housing arrangements in floor pens with enrichment focusing on their collective needs can overcome these limitations. Methods: Conventional and contemporary group environments and enrichment comprised the study. The conventional groups were housed in standard, single cages and enrichment. The contmeporary groups were group housed in floor pens with a comprehensive enrichment program. Results: The contemporary groups thrived while the conventional remained unchanged. Conclusion: Application of a contemporary environment remarkably improved animal welfare and response. Construction-Related Declines in Estuarine Bottlenose Dolphins Obscured by Fission-Fusion Behavior A Weaver Argosy University Mushrooming coastal human populations exert continual pressure on coastal cetaceans; problem is lack of knowledge about coastal construction-related impacts on local bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus. This ongoing associational study aims to determine if bridge construction over John’s Pass tidal inlet, St. Petersburg FL, posed an anthropogenic threat and is sufficiently longterm (8 yrs) to accurately estimate dolphins’ socioecological responses. Occurrence data were collected before-during-after construction during small-boat morning surveys of 6.5-mile estuarine study area with standard photo-ID (2005-2012, N = 951 surveys). Random samples of three increasingly finer-scaled dependent variables revealed significant declines in sighting parous adults. However, declines were obscured by steady appearance of newly-identified dolphins. Main conclusions: 1) declines were concurrent with construction but need more after-construction data to verify declines as also contingent upon it; 2) finer-scaled measures revealed but broad measures obscured decline: Fission-fusion social organization must be factored in when analyzing potential anthropogenic threats. Experience pooling & problem solving in fish shoals MM Webster University of St Andrews Animals acquire valuable social information from others, but can they solve problems by combining information from multiple sources? In this study, groups of sticklebacks (Gasteroseus aculeatus) were presented with a foraging task, consisting of a navigation and a feeder component. Some fish were navigation-trained, other fish were feeder-trained, to enter a novel feeder to access food, while the remainder were naïve to either component. The groups consisted of either (1) all naïve fish, or a majority of naïve fish plus (2) some feeder-trained fish, (3) some navigation-trained fish or (4) a mixture of both feeder- and navigation-trained fish. In the naïve only and the feeder-trained plus naïve groups, fish took the longest to find the food patch, while in the the navigation-trained plus naïve groups, they found the food patch sooner, but few fish gained access to it. In contrast, the group containing both feeder- and navigation-trained fish found and accessed the food faster, and had the greatest number of naïve fish accessing the food. This experiment reveals that groups consisting of individuals with incomplete information about their environment can solve problems collectively.
    • Experimental evidence of asymmetrical introgression of a sexual signal via extra-pair mating M Webster, D Baldassarre Cornell University Sexual selection is thought to be a key factor promoting reproductive isolation during speciation, but it may also facilitate hybridization and thus facilitate gene flow between otherwise divergent populations, for example if females of one population prefer male traits from another. The red-backed fairy-wren is a small Australian passerine classified as two subspecies that differ primarily in male nuptial plumage color (red vs. orange). Genetic analysis suggests asymmetrical introgression of plumage color from the red subspecies into the genetic background of the orange subspecies, and we hypothesized that this may be driven by sexual selection. To test this idea, we experimentally manipulated male plumage color in a wild population of the orange subspecies. Experimentally reddened males sired the same amount of within-pair young as control and sham treatment males, but sired significantly more extra-pair offspring, thereby leading to significantly higher total reproductive success. Thus we conclude that sexual selection via extra-pair mating is a likely mechanism responsible for the asymmetrical introgression of plumage color in this system. Functional significance of ultraviolet feeding cues in wild birds SJ Werner 1, SK Tupper 1, JC Carlson 1, SE Pettit 1, JW Ellis 1, R Buchholz 2 1 USDA National Wildlife Research Center, 2 Univeristy of Mississippi Birds utilize ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths for plumage signaling and sexual selection. Ultraviolet cues may also be used for the process of avian food selection. We used avoidance conditioning to test the hypothesis that UV feeding cues can be used functionally for foraging behavior in red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Birds conditioned with an UV-absorbent, postingestive toxin subsequently avoided UV-absorbent food. The UV-absorbent cue was therefore used to maintain avoidance for up to 18 days post-conditioning among blackbirds. Experimentally-naïve blackbirds conditioned with the UV-absorbent, postingestive toxin subsequently avoided UV-reflective food. Thus, conditioned avoidance of an UV-absorbent cue can be generalized to an unconditioned, UV-reflective cue for nutrient selection and toxin avoidance. These findings suggest functional significance of UV feeding cues for avian foraging behavior, the implications of which will enable comparative investigations of the taxonomic, dietary, and life history correlates of associative learning and the behavioral ecology of wild birds. Mate preference for a seasonally polyphenic trait is polyphenic and learned in a butterfly EL Westerman 1,2, N Chirathivat 2, E Schyling 2, & A Monteiro 2 1. University of Chicago, 2. Yale University Heritable, innate mate preferences for seasonal polyphenic species, whose adult phenotype varies with developmental environment, may be maladaptive, as the phenotype that is most fit in the parental environment may be absent in the offspring environment. Mate preference in species with seasonal polyphenisms should therefore either be polyphenic and environmentally dependent to match the intergenerational morphological change, or learned each generation. Here we test these two hypotheses by first describing a female-specific seasonally polyphenic, sexually dimorphic trait in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, dorsal hindwing spot number (DSN), and then testing whether male and female naive mate preferences are seasonally polyphenic, and whether mate preferences are learned. Naive mating patterns were seasonally polyphenic in males but not females, and males, but not females, learned mate preferences for DSN. These results suggest that male mate preferences for seasonally polyphenic morphological traits in females may be both seasonally polyphenic and learned in a butterfly, and that mate preference plasticity is sexually dimorphic. Social brains in context: Lesions to the song system in female cowbirds affect their social network DJ White 1, S Maguire 2, MF Schmidt 2 1. Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy, 2 University of Pennsylvania Social experiences can organize physiological, neural, and reproductive function, but there are few experimental preparations that can study the effect individuals have in structuring their social environment. We examined the connections between mechanisms underlying individual behavior and social dynamics in flocks of brown-headed cowbirds. We conducted targeted inactivations of the neural song control system in females. Playback tests revealed that the lesions affected females’ song preferences: lesioned females were no longer selective for high quality conspecific song. When lesioned females were introduced into mixed-sex flocks, they were less likely to
    • pair-bond or mate monogamously. This created a cascade of effects through the groups. Social network analyses showed that the lesioned females created instabilities in the social structure: males changed their dominance status and their courtship patterns, and even the competitive behavior of other females was affected. These results reveal that inactivation of the song control system in female cowbirds not only affects individual behavior, but also exerts widespread effects on the stability of the entire social system. Symbiotic microbes may mediate songbird chemical signals DJ Whittaker, KR Theis Michigan State University The symbiotic hypothesis for chemical communication suggests that microbes living in animal scent glands produce odors that are used as chemical signals, and that variation in the composition and structure of these bacterial communities leads to variation in animal chemical signals. Bacterial communities in glands co-vary with volatile compounds, plus age, sex, and group membership, in several mammalian species, but the hypothesis has never been tested in any bird species. Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) preen oil contains 19 volatile compounds that increase in concentration during the breeding season. Juncos can detect these odors and show odor preferences that may relate to mate choice. We tested whether junco preen glands contain odor-producing bacteria, and if these bacteria may be transmitted from parents to offspring in the nest. We swabbed the glands of parents and offspring in 20 nests and used 16S rRNA gene surveys to characterize microbial communities. Our data show that junco preen glands contain diverse communities of bacteria, including many well-documented odor producers, and that there are nest-specific patterns of bacterial community composition and structure. Evolutionary decoupling of pheromone composition and mode of delivery in plethodontid salamanders DB Wilburn1, KE Bowen1, PW Feldhoff1, LD Houck2, RC Feldhoff1 1. Univ Louisville, 2. Oregon State Univ For tens of millions of years, plethodontid salamanders have utilized protein courtship pheromones to increase female mating receptivity. In most plethodontid species, males deliver pheromone by “scratching” a female and applying pheromone to the abrasion, where it presumably diffuses into the blood (e.g. Desmognathes ocoee). However, in a single clade of large eastern Plethodon species, both the gland morphology and mating behavior have shifted such that males “slap” a large pad-like gland to the female’s nares, and deliver the pheromone through olfaction (e.g. Plethodon shermani). Chemical analyses in the aforementioned species revealed large differences in the pheromone composition between modes of delivery. In this study, we examine the pheromone composition of a Plethodon cinereus: a Plethodon species that uses “scratching” pheromone deliver. Proteomic analyses revealed that the pheromones of P. cinereus are similar to those of P. shermani, and have little resemblance to D. ocoee. We now propose that pheromone composition and mode of delivery are evolutionarily decoupled, warranting further study into the selective forces driving molecular evolution in this mating system. Complex Sexual Signaling in the North American Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica erythrogaster MR Wilkins, JK Hubbard, RJ Safran University of Colorado at Boulder Because of its inherent effects on traits involved in decisions ranging from mate choice to species recognition, sexual selection is thought to be an important factor in population divergence and speciation. Therefore, achieving a better understanding of the complexities of mate choice and intrasexual competition is not only broadly important in animal behavior research, but is also essential for identifying the key processes responsible for diversification. However, most sexual selection studies consider signals in only one modality (such as visual, chemical, or acoustic cues), despite the fact that a large proportion of organisms utilize multiple cues in different modalities across decision-making contexts. Here we present correlational data related to two visual feather traits and 15 song traits in North American barn swallows. Goals of this study are to determine the potential for signal redundancy across modalities and assess fitness consequences of signal variation. As one of few field studies with data on multimodal signals and their fitness outcomes, this work aims to benefit our knowledge on the evolution of sexual communication. Infectious disease, host behavior and wildlife conservation CKR Willis 1, JL Voyles 2 1. U of Winnipeg, 2 New Mexico Tech
    • Infectious diseases are increasingly recognized as threats to biodiversity and disease management is a key component of wildlife conservation. Physiological responses of hosts to pathogens (e.g., innate and acquired immunity) are foundational to classic “SIR” population models which parameterize hosts as Susceptible, Infected or Resistant to predict disease consequences. However, behavioral responses of hosts to infection, or infection risk, have received less theoretical and empirical attention, despite their potential to inform management. Two recently emerged fungal diseases, amphibian chytridiomycosis and bat white-nose syndrome (WNS) have caused catastrophic population losses and illustrate the importance of host behavior in infectious disease. Using WNS as an example, we propose a framework to better incorporate studies of host behavior, particularly behaviors that influence host susceptibility and fitness, and pathogen fitness, into the SIR paradigm. Increased attention to emerging diseases from behavioral biologists, combined with more attention to questions about behavior in the context of infectious disease, will improve our potential to manage disease in natural systems. The role of different eye types in female mate recognition and prey detection of a wolf spider R Wilson, T Piening, GW Uetz University of Cincinnati Female Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders utilize visual cues for both prey capture and mate assessment. We tested whether the anterior and posterior eyes play different roles in detection and decision-making processes involved in mate choice and prey detection. We occluded the different sets of eyes of individual females with non-toxic paint, and presented them with either a video playback stimulus (courting male) or a live cricket. Latency to orient and respond receptively to courting video males was significantly longer with posterior eyes occluded, than that of controls and females with anterior eyes occluded. Composite receptivity scores (sum of female displays) were likewise significantly reduced when posterior eyes were occluded, suggesting that posterior eyes are involved in mate detection and recognition. With live prey, the latency to orient and approach crickets was shortest for unmanipulated controls, intermediate for anterior eyes occluded, and significantly longer when posterior eyes were occluded. Taken together, these data suggest that the two sets of eyes may have different roles in detection and recognition of prey and courting males. Abiotic stressors and the conservation of social species Marian Wong U of Wollongong Human activities have resulted in the deterioration of natural ecosystems. This global problem requires extensive collaboration if we are to preserve the remaining biodiversity. Here I discuss an application of behavioral ecology to the conservation of social species in the face of abiotic disturbances. A key step lies in uniting perspectives on the effects of individual-level social behaviors at multiple levels of ecological organization, with the effects of human-induced abiotic perturbations on individual-level social responses. I illustrate these linkages by describing how dominance interactions between individuals can affect the structure and stability of groups, populations and communities. Then, I discuss how abiotic perturbations brought about by two key anthropogenic impacts can disrupt dominance relationships and hierarchy stability in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Finally, I describe management implications to highlight the applicability of this framework to predict consequences, prioritize species for conservation and suggest management actions. By integrating these perspectives, researchers studying animal societies can articulate a clear conservation message. Food For Thought: Modification of Food Guarding Behavior in Animal Shelters LA Wood Humane Society of Boulder Valley A primary endeavor of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley is to save animal lives through the implementation of a behavior modification program for shelter dogs. The objective of the program is to decrease euthanasia, share effective and efficient strategies with other shelters, and encourage momentum across the country in shelter behavior modification. Due to the nationwide prevalence of dogs who display food guarding behavior during behavior assessments and the subsequently high rate of euthanasia for this behavior problem, treatment of guarding is a strong focus of the Society’s program. The Society’s protocol provides treatment by applying forcefree, scientific principles of desensitization and counterconditioning to modify a dog’s existing negative association to food bowl interference and removal. Current program results indicate an average treatment time of 12 days with 88% of participants successfully passing re-evaluation by a novel tester and entering our adoption center. The program’s success and ease of protocol use may facilitate shelter behavior modification nationwide, thereby increasing the number of lives saved and advancing the welfare of shelter animals.
    • Learning and the Evolution of Anti-predator Behavior in Threespine Stickleback Fish MA Wund, B Babu, A Califano The College of New Jersey Understanding the developmental and evolutionary causes of variation in anti-predator behavior is a major goal of behavioral biology. We are investigating the interplay between learning and evolution in shaping anti-predator in the threespine stickleback fish, Gasterosteus aculeatus. Stickleback populations vary with respect to whether or not they co-occur with piscivorous fish, and as a consequence vary in their responses to these predators. Indirect evidence suggests that a combination of learned and evolved differences accounts for this variation in behavior, and that the relative reliance on learning may have diverged among populations. We are currently determining the mechanisms by which stickleback learn to identify their predators, and whether reliance on learning differs among populations that experience different predation regimes. Finally, we hope to relate differences in learning to variation in gene expression in the brain in order to better understand how the evolutionary transition from learned to unlearned behaviors transpires. The effect of status on copulation behavior of male red-winged blackbirds K Yasukawa Beloit College Red-winged blackbirds are polygynous, have high rates of extra-pair fertilization, and have second-year (SY) and after-second-year (ASY) nonterritorial “floater” males. I presented soliciting female mounts to experienced and inexperienced territory-owner, territorial-neighbor, and floater males to study male behavior and copulation success. All categories of males successfully copulated with the mounts; territory owners were most successful, ASY floaters were moderately successful, and SY floaters were least successful. Experience significantly affected territorial male behavior and copulation success, and floaters were more likely to approach mounts on territories of experienced than inexperienced males. Comparison of numbers of successful copulations by owners, neighbors, and floaters with those expected on the basis of offspring assignments using genetic data show that owners and floaters were over-represented, whereas neighbors were under-represented. These results provide indirect support for the ability of floaters to sire offspring and demonstrate that prior breeding experience affects the behavior and copulation success of territorial male red-winged blackbirds. Through their eyes: selective attention in peahens during courtship JL Yorzinski 1,2, GL Patricelli 1, JS Babcock 3, JM Pearson 2, ML Platt 2 1. U of California at Davis, 2. Duke U, 3. Positive Science, LLC Conspicuous, multicomponent ornamentation in male animals can be favored by female mate choice but we know little about the cognitive processes females use to evaluate these traits. Using a miniaturized telemetric gazetracker, we show that peahens (Pavo cristatus) selectively attend to specific components of peacock courtship displays and virtually ignore other, highly conspicuous components. Females gazed at the lower train but largely ignored the head, crest, and upper train. When the lower train was obscured, however, females spent more time gazing at the upper train and approached the upper train from a distance. Our results suggest that peahens mainly evaluate the lower train during close-up courtship but use the upper train as a long-distance attraction signal. Furthermore, we found that behavioral display components (train rattling and wing shaking) captured and maintained female attention, indicating that interactions between display components may promote the evolution of multicomponent displays. Taken together, these findings suggest that selective attention plays a critical role in sexual selection and likely influences the evolution of male display traits. Size variation and reproductive strategies in the sand wasp Steniolia nigripes GM Young University of California, Los Angeles Differences in reproductive tactics and phenotypes are most often explained in the adaptive context of frequencydependent and condition-dependent selection. However, traditional theories relating ecology and mating systems do not account for the effects that the behavior of one sex can have on the fitness of the other. Sand wasps (Crabronidae: Bembicinae) present a unique opportunity to study the importance of phenotypic variation in sexual interactions, because there is variability in sexual dimorphism and mating behavior across species. In particular, Steniolia nigripes shows reversed sexual size dimorphism and aggressive male defense of food resources visited by females, a behavior previously undescribed in the Bembicinae. Field observations of individually marked males
    • indicate that male aggression level and success in territory holding are highly related to body size. Size thus appears to mediate the effectiveness of intrasexual competition in males, which may explain why this species has evolved such large males. Further investigation is in progress to determine how variation in body size affects females, and if wasps demonstrate preferences in mating based on size. Morphological constraints for the expression of motor planning in two species of nonhuman primates SL Zander 1, PG Judge 1, DJ Weiss 2 1. Bucknell University, 2. The Pennsylvania State University While all primates seem to possess action planning capabilities, there is variability in the expression of these skills. We proposed that morphological constraints might explain the observed discrepancies in motor planning across species and compared the extent to which squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and brown capuchins (Cebus apella) adjust their movements in a grasping task. Monkeys were offered a baited cup in two orientations. The most efficient acquisition of the food reward often required an awkward initial grasp on the cup. While certain individuals from both species demonstrated motor planning by adjusting their grasp prior to lifting the cup, several of the capuchins never did. Moreover, the squirrel monkeys altered their grasps significantly more than the capuchins. Squirrel monkeys are not capable of precision grips or complex object manipulation. It may be more beneficial for these monkeys to plan their movements efficiently because they are less capable of compensating for inappropriate initial grasps. Thus, we suggest the observed variability between the two species results from morphological distinctions rather than differences in cognitive planning abilities. Differences in seasonal reproduction patterns between tropical and temperate squirrel monkeys HS Zimbler-DeLorenzo 1, Erika Huyck 1, 2 1. Alfred University, 2. Cornell University Previous research on the North American zoological population of Saimiri scriureus indicates temperature as the most influential factor in determining seasonal reproduction patterns. However, it has been suggested this is insufficient to act as a cue in tropical regions because annual variation in temperature is slight. Using path analyses to determine which environmental factor may be most significant in tropical regions, comparisons are made between a wild troop in Ecuador and North America populations. Rainfall displays the strongest association with the number of matings per month (p = -0.538) while temperature has the greatest effect on the number of births per month (p = 0.605). As rainfall decreases, the number of matings per month increases. As hypothesized, temperature and photoperiod are not sufficient cues for determining the onset of the breeding season in tropical habitats. The path models for the North American populations fit the data much better than the path models for the Ecuadorian populations. This is particularly interesting and suggests the monkeys may be responding to additional environmental factors. The role of behavior in the establishment of novel traits M Zuk 1, E Bastiaans 1, E Swanger 1 1. U of Minnesota How do new traits arise, and how are they maintained? All variation ultimately stems from mutation, but while mutations arise continuously, few become established. Of those that do, some may even spread very quickly if circumstances allow so-called rapid or contemporary evolution. What distinguishes traits that persist from those that disappear? Novel traits do not arise in a vacuum – they occur in a milieu of other characteristics that may hinder or facilitate their establishment. Using data from recent rapid evolution in crickets, lizards and other taxa, we suggest that novel traits, particularly those important in social evolution or sexual selection, are unlikely to become established unless they can be reinforced by associated behaviors. For example, a mutation rendering male crickets unable to call became established in populations where an acoustically-orienting parasitoid fly made silence adaptive. But the crickets were only able to overcome the associated cost to mating success because the acoustic environment during maturation already influenced mating behavior and allowed the novel morph to attract mates. Behavior may thus play an important role in the rate of evolution. Running blind: Antennae are necessary and sufficient in obstacle negotiation by tiger beetles DB Zurek 1, C Gilbert 1 1 Cornell U, Department of Entomology Tiger beetles (Cicindelinae) are cursorial predators that track prey visually, and rank among the fastest running
    • animals in relation to body size. Despite their high visual acuity, loss of visual contrast from motion blur forces cicindelids to employ stop-and-go tactics while pursuing prey at high running speeds. Such blindness during runs could potentially impact obstacle negotiation and impair fast running during pursuit and escape. While running, antennae of diurnal cicindelids are oriented forwards at a constant angle with their tips bent downward, in contrast to other fast running, less visual, insects such as cockroaches. We investigated the importance of visual and tactile cues during obstacle negotiation. Analysis of high speed video of unimpaired control, blinded, and antenna-less beetles running over obstacles of different height and contrast revealed that antennal touch is necessary and sufficient to successfully negotiate obstacles. Sighted beetles lacking antennae crashed, even into high contrast obstacles. The initial touch by the antennal tips enables cicindelids to increase their body pitch and ground clearance to run over obstacles without slowing down. House finches (C. mexicanus) balance investment in behavioral and immunological pathogen defenses M Zylberberg 1,2, KC Klasing 1, TP Hahn 1 1. Univ California, Davis, 2. California Academy of Sciences Infection with parasites and pathogens is costly for hosts, causing loss of nutritional resources, reproductive potential, tissue integrity, and even life. In response, animals have evolved behavioral and immunological strategies to avoid infection with pathogens and parasites. However, because both behavioral and immunological defenses are costly, host individuals should benefit from balancing investment in these defense strategies. Here, we test the hypothesis that investment in immune function is inversely related to investment in behaviors that potentially decrease pathogen exposure in both a social and asocial context. We show that Carpodacus mexicanus (house finches) avoid sick individuals and that individuals investing less in this behavioral defense invest more in immune defenses. In addition, we show that individuals that engage in low-risk behaviors when experiencing a novel situation (forgoing exploratory behaviors) invest less in innate immune function than individuals engaging in high-risk behaviors. This individual variation in pathogen defense strategies is expected to affect the dynamics of pathogen spread through populations, and ultimately the course of epidemics. Exploring cephalopod visual perception through rapid adaptive camouflage S Zylinski University of Leeds Coleoid cephalopods (cuttlefish, octopuses and squids) are able to rapidly alter their appearance with a speed and complexity that is unrivaled in the animal kingdom. This is primarily achieved via densely packed intradermal chromatophores, which are under direct neural control and largely visually driven. Cephalopods use adaptive coloration in both communication and camouflage. In the case of camouflage, the behavior of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis has provided us with a unique insight into non-human visual perception because, in very simple terms, the animal tells us what it can see by the body pattern it uses when on a given background. By testing the body pattern responses of S. officinalis to very specific visual stimuli we have begun to understand the mechanisms by which it determines what pattern components to use. Here I discuss some of the findings about how information in the background pertaining to attributes such as edges and texture are extracted and integrated by the cuttlefish.