Meeting Abstract

72.1  Friday, Jan. 6  Hatching plasticity and the function of parental care in two glassfrogs (Anura: Centrolenidae) DELIA, J. R. J.*; WARKENTIN, K. M.; Boston University, Boston

The history and diversity of parental care among frogs has provided key insights into the adaptive evolution of life histories. Although there are examples of more complex parental care strategies, in many species care appears to primarily protect eggs from predators and dehydration. In glassfrogs, parents hydrate and guard arboreal eggs, but the quality of care varies. Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni embryos respond to dehydration risk caused by poor paternal care by accelerating their timing of hatching. We conducted male-removal experiments with this species at different embryonic stages and monitored egg fates to assess the function of care, how environmental conditions affect the adaptive value of care, and embryo responses to risk in two sites (Mexico and Panama). We conducted parallel experiments with a more intensely guarding congener, H. colymbiphyllum, that co-occurs at our site in Panama. In H. fleischmanni, weather conditions affected the initial period of care required to avoid lethal egg dehydration, and care intensity varied concurrently. Predation, mainly by spiders that build webs over clutches, was much higher in Panama, and hatching timing was earlier than in Mexico. Dehydration and predation were the primary sources of mortality in unattended clutches, and both triggered early hatching. The period of obligate care required for egg hydration was shorter in H. colymbiphyllum, and their intense guarding reduced predation by spiders compared to H. fleischmanni. These results reveal variation in the relative advantages of different parental care strategies among closely related, ecologically similar species, and how the nature and quality of parental care can affect adaptive embryo behaviors.