Elevated Corticosterone Levels Decrease Vocal Attractiveness and Elicit Non-Calling Mating Tactics in Male Green Tree Frogs, Hyla cinerea

Burroff, Hannah (2016) Elevated Corticosterone Levels Decrease Vocal Attractiveness and Elicit Non-Calling Mating Tactics in Male Green Tree Frogs, Hyla cinerea. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Christopher Leary from Biology, The University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Condition-dependent male alternative tactics are often driven by competition among males for females. The expression of alternative male mating tactics can be influenced by the external social environment as well as internal physiological state. Recent models predict that circulating levels of stress hormones (i.e., glucocorticoids) and androgens may be particularly important in determining mating tactic expression under varying social circumstances. This study intergrates both components to investigate the cause of alternative tactic adoption in male green tree frogs, Hyla cinerea. Males of this species produce acoustic signals that are critical for attracting females and male vocalizations stimulate production of the stress hormone corticosterone (CORT) in rival males, suggesting that CORT plays a pivotal role in male-male competition. By administering CORT to calling male H. cinerea, I show that increased circulating levels of glucocorticoids significantly decrease vocal attractiveness of males and increase the probability of non-calling satellite behavior when males are challenged by another male, these effects occurred independently of changes in circulating androgen levels. My results suggest that males of this species attempt to manipulate the stress physiology of males competitors during vocal contests in ways that decrease the probability of acquiring mates.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Burroff, Hannah
Student's Degree Program(s): B.S. Biology
Thesis Advisor: Christopher Leary
Thesis Advisor's Department: Biology
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Depositing User: Hannah Burroff
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 20:03
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2016 20:03
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/715

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