Meeting Abstract

88.4  Friday, Jan. 6  Personality across ontogeny in an amphibian CARLSON, BE*; LANGKILDE, T; Penn State University; Penn State University

Animals often exhibit consistent individual differences in behavior (“personalities”) but the evolution of such diversity is poorly understood despite the importance of personality in behavioral ecology. Constrained behavioral flexibility across time may create tradeoffs that promote diverse strategies. Personalities may also be driven by variation in individual states or local selection pressures. We explored these factors in wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), characterizing behavioral consistency across time within and between life history stages, and assessing the effects of age, size, and population of origin on behavioral variation. In the laboratory, we individually reared 50 frogs representing four source populations and 13 sibling groups. At three tadpole and three frog stages, the behavior of each individual was analyzed in both familiar home and novel open field environments. We measured three personality traits: activity, exploration, and boldness. We assessed within-stage repeatability and between stage correlations of behaviors, and the effects of age, body mass, and source population on behavior. Preliminary results indicated significant within-stage repeatability and individual variation for some personality traits (activity and exploration) but not others (boldness), contrasting with previous findings. Correlations between stages were often weak, but exploration behavior was notably correlated between tadpole and frog stages. Age and size strongly affected exploration and boldness in some tadpole stages but not in frogs. Source population significantly influenced some traits in all stages. These results suggest that personality traits may be moderately correlated across ontogeny, allowing for evolutionary tradeoffs, but that variation in state and in selection history may also promote behavioral diversity.