Bibiana Rojas

Bibiana Rojas
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna | vetmed · Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung

PhD

About

59
Publications
26,843
Reads
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817
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in the interface between behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology in a variety of taxa; particularly, in different aspects of communication, animal colouration, anti-predator strategies, parental care, aggression, territoriality and life history trade-offs. At the moment, my study systems are dart poison frogs, wood tiger moths, and great and blue tits —https://bibianarojas.co/
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • Fellow
June 2012 - August 2018
University of Jyväskylä
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 2010 - May 2012
Deakin University
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
May 2010 - May 2012
Deakin University
Field of study
  • Life and Environmental Sciences (Sensory Ecology and Animal Behaviour)
October 2007 - April 2010
University of Exeter
Field of study
  • Animal Behaviour
January 2002 - April 2005
Los Andes University (Colombia)
Field of study
  • Biology-Behavioral Ecophysiology and Herpetology

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Apostatic (frequency- or density-dependent) selection, aposematic signals, and mate choice behavior generally require that the mean prey or potential mate density m value be high enough (above a threshold T) to result in sufficient encounter rates for the searcher to learn or retain the association between conspicuous signals and prey unprofitabili...
Article
Full-text available
Parents may increase the probability of offspring survival by choosing suitable rearing sites where risks are as low as possible. Predation and competition are major selective pressures influencing the evolution of rearing site selection. Poison frogs look after their clutches and deposit the newly hatched tadpoles in bodies of water where they rem...
Article
The role of colours and colour patterns in behavioural ecology has been extensively studied in a variety of contexts and taxa, while almost overlooked in many others. For decades anurans have been the focus of research on acoustic signalling due to the prominence of vocalisations in their communication. Much less attention has been paid to the enor...
Article
Full-text available
Animals have evolved different defensive strategies to survive predation, among which chemical defences are particularly widespread and diverse. Here we investigate the function of chemical defence diversity, hypothesizing that such diversity has evolved as a response to multiple enemies. The aposematic wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) displays...
Article
Full-text available
Aposematic organisms couple conspicuous warning signals with a secondary defense to deter predators from attacking. Novel signals of aposematic prey are expected to be selected against due to positive frequency-dependent selection. How, then, can novel phenotypes persist after they arise, and why do so many aposematic species exhibit intrapopulatio...
Article
Full-text available
The current and cascading effects of global change challenges the interactions both between animal individuals (i.e. social and sexual behaviour) and the environment they inhabit. Amphibians are an ecologically diverse class with a wide range of social and sexual behaviours, making them a compelling model to understand the potential adaptations of...
Preprint
Chemical defences often vary within and between populations both in quantity and quality, which is puzzling if prey survival is dependent on the strength of the defence. We investigated the within- and between-population variability in chemical defence of the wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis). The major components of its defences, SBMP (2secbuty...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sex differences in vertebrate spatial abilities are typically interpreted under the adaptive specialization hypothesis, which posits that male reproductive success is linked to larger home ranges and better navigational skills. The androgen spillover hypothesis counters that enhanced male spatial performance may be a byproduct of higher androgen le...
Article
Full-text available
In juveniles extreme intraspecies aggression can seem counter-intuitive, as it might endanger their developmental goal of surviving until reproductive stage. Ultimately, aggression can be vital for survival, although the factors (e.g., genetic or environmental) leading to the expression and intensity of this behavior vary across taxa. Attacking (an...
Article
Full-text available
Amphibian larvae typically inhabit relatively shallow freshwater environments, and within these boundaries there is considerable diversity in the structure of the habitats exploited by different species. This diversity in habitat structure is usually taken into account in relation to aspects such as locomotion and feeding, and plays a fundamental r...
Article
Full-text available
Many organisms have evolved adaptations to increase the odds of survival of their offspring. Parental care has evolved several times in animals including ectotherms. In amphibians, ~ 10% of species exhibit parental care. Among these, poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) are well-known for their extensive care, which includes egg guarding, larval transport,...
Article
Full-text available
Many species of Neotropical frogs have evolved to deposit their tadpoles in small water bodies inside plant structures called phytotelmata. These pools are small enough to exclude large predators but have limited nutrients and high desiccation risk. Here, we explore phytotelm use by three common Neotropical species: Osteocephalus oophagus, an arbor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many species of Neotropical frogs have evolved to deposit their tadpoles in small water bodies inside plant structures called phytotelmata. These pools are small enough to exclude large predators but have limited nutrients and high desiccation risk. Here, we explore phytotelm use by three common Neotropical species: Osteocephalus oophagus, an arbor...
Article
Full-text available
Warning signals are predicted to develop signal monomorphism via positive frequency‐dependent selection (+FDS) albeit many aposematic systems exhibit signal polymorphism. To understand this mismatch, we conducted a large‐scale predation experiment in four countries, among which the frequencies of hindwing warning coloration of the aposematic moth,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aggression between juveniles can be unexpected, as their primary motivation is to survive until their reproductive stage. However, instances of aggression, which may escalate to cannibalism, can be vital for survival, although the factors (e.g. genetic or environmental) leading to cannibalism vary across taxa. While cannibalism can greatly accelera...
Article
Full-text available
Animals are often difficult to distinguish at an individual level, and being able to identify individuals can be crucial in ecological or behavioral studies. In response to this challenge, biologists have developed a range of marking (tattoos, brands, toe-clips) and tagging (banding, collars, PIT, VIA, VIE) methods to identify individuals and cohor...
Article
Full-text available
Despite rising interest among scientists for over two centuries, parental care behavior has not been as thoroughly studied in amphibians as it has in other taxa. The first reports of amphibian parental care date from the early 18th century, when Maria Sibylla Merian went on a field expedition in Suriname and reported frog metamorphs emerging from t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Animals are often difficult to distinguish at an individual level, but being able to identify individuals can be crucial in ecological or behavioural studies. In response to this challenge, biologists have developed a range of marking (tattoos, brands, toe-clips) and tagging (PIT, VIA, VIE) methods to identify individuals and cohorts. Animals with...
Preprint
Full-text available
Warning signals are predicted to develop signal monomorphism via positive frequency-dependent selection (+FDS) albeit many aposematic systems exhibit signal polymorphism. To understand this mismatch, we conducted a large-scale predation experiment in four locations, among which the frequencies of hindwing warning coloration of aposematic Arctia pla...
Article
The evolution and diversification of animal reproductive modes have been pivotal questions in behavioural ecology. Amphibians present the highest diversity of reproductive modes among vertebrates, involving various behavioural, physiological and morphological traits. One such feature is the amplexus, which is the clasp or embrace of males on female...
Article
Chloe Fouilloux and colleagues introduce animal cannibalism.
Preprint
Full-text available
The evolution and diversification of animal reproductive modes have been pivotal questions in behavioral ecology. Amphibians present the highest diversity of reproductive modes among vertebrates, involving various behavioral, physiological and morphological traits. One of such features is the amplexus, the clasp or embrace of males on females durin...
Article
Full-text available
Descriptive studies of natural history have always been a source of knowledge on which experimental work and scientific progress rely. Poison frogs are a well-studied group of small Neotropical frogs with diverse parental behaviors, distinct calls, and bright colors that warn predators about their toxicity; and a showcase of advances in fundamental...
Article
Full-text available
Parents can influence offspring dispersal through breeding site selection, competition, or by directly moving their offspring during parental care. Many animals move their young, but the potential role of this behavior in dispersal has rarely been investigated. Neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae) are well known for shuttling their tadpoles fro...
Article
Full-text available
Allocation to different components of defence has been suggested as an explanation for the existence of multiple aposematic morphs in a single population. We tested whether there are trade-offs between warning colouration and chemical defence or whether these have an additive effect when combined, using blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) as predators...
Preprint
Full-text available
Descriptive studies of natural history have always been a source of knowledge on which experimental work and scientific progress rely. Poison frogs are a well-studied group of small Neotropical frogs with diverse parental behaviors, distinct calls, and bright colors that warn predators about their toxicity; and a showcase of advances in fundamental...
Article
Full-text available
Chemically defended animals often display conspicuous color patterns that predators learn to associate with their unprofitability and subsequently avoid. Such animals (i.e., aposematic), deter predators by stimulating their visual and chemical sensory channels. Hence, aposematism is considered to be "multimodal." The evolution of warning signals (a...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple-model mimicry, whereby different morphs of an aposematic species each resemble another defended species sharing the costs of predator education, has been proposed as a mechanism allowing colour polymorphisms in aposematic species. Male wood tiger moths, Arctia plantaginis (Linnaeus, 1758), are chemically defended and polymorphic (yellow, w...
Article
Full-text available
Multiple-model mimicry, whereby different morphs of an aposematic species each resemble another defended species sharing the costs of predator education, has been proposed as a mechanism allowing colour polymorphisms in aposematic species. Male wood tiger moths, Arctia plantaginis (Linnaeus, 1758), are chemically defended and polymorphic (yellow, w...
Article
Full-text available
Although predation is commonly thought to exert the strongest selective pressure on colouration in aposematic species, sexual selection may also influence colouration. Specifically, polymorphism in aposematic species cannot be explained by natural selection alone. 2.Males of the aposematic wood tiger moth (Arctia plantaginis) are polymorphic for hi...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals protect themselves from predation with chemicals, both self-made or sequestered from their diet. The potential drivers of the diversity of these chemicals have been long studied, but our knowledge of these chemicals and their acquisition mode is heavily based on specialist herbivores that sequester their defenses. The wood tiger moth (...
Article
Full-text available
Local warning colour polymorphism, frequently observed in aposematic organisms, is evolutionarily puzzling. This is because variation in aposematic signals is expected to be selected against due to predators' difficulties associating several signals with a given unprofitable prey. One possible explanation for the existence of such variation is pred...
Article
Full-text available
Much of what we know about human colour perception has come from psychophysical studies conducted in tightly-controlled laboratory settings. An enduring challenge, however, lies in extrapolating this knowledge to the noisy conditions that characterize our actual visual experience. Here we combine statistical models of visual perception with empiric...
Article
Full-text available
Stynoski et al. introduce the dendrobatids, a charismatic group of frogs known for their colourful and often poisonous skin.
Article
Full-text available
Predators efficiently learn to avoid one type of warning signal rather than several, making colour polymorphisms unexpected. Aposematic wood tiger moth males Parasemia plantaginis have either white or yellow hindwing coloration across Eu-rope. Previous studies indicate that yellow males are better defended from predators, while white males have a p...
Article
Full-text available
Tree-fall gaps are small-scale disturbances whose formation, colonization, and role in forest dynamics are well documented, but whose effects on animal ecology are still greatly overlooked, except for studies comparing species richness of gaps 6+ months old to that in the closed canopy. Other factors associated with the invasion of fresh tree-fall...
Article
Full-text available
Polymorphic warning signals in aposematic species are enigmatic because predator learning and discrimination should select for the most common coloration, resulting in positive frequency-dependent survival selection. Here, we investigated whether differential mating success could create sufficiently strong negative frequency-dependent selection fo...
Article
Full-text available
Variation in predator behavior toward aposematic prey was frequently studied at interspecific and individual levels, but interpopulation differences have been neglected. Geographic differences in prey fauna offer an opportunity to test their implications for predator behavior. It can be expected that 1) predator populations inhabiting environments...
Article
Full-text available
Several antipredator strategies are related to prey colouration. Some colour patterns can create visual illusions during movement (such as motion dazzle), making it difficult for a predator to capture moving prey successfully. Experimental evidence about motion dazzle, however, is still very scarce and comes only from studies using human predators...
Article
Full-text available
Rojas et al provide a quickguide to animal warning signals. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
Full-text available
Predators efficiently learn to avoid one type of warning signal rather than several, making colour polymorphisms unexpected. Aposematic wood tiger moth males Parasemia plantaginis have either white or yellow hindwing coloration across Europe. Previous studies indicate that yellow males are better defended from predators, while white males have a po...
Article
Full-text available
Aposematic signal variation is a paradox: predators are better at learning and retaining the association between conspicuousness and unprofitability when signal variation is low. Movement patterns and variable colour patterns are linked in non-aposematic species: striped patterns generate illusions of altered speed and direction when moving linearl...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the predicted purifying role of stabilising selection against variation in warning signals, many aposematic species exhibit high variation in their colour patterns. The maintenance of such variation is not well understood, but it has been suggested to be the result of an interaction between sexual and natural selection. This interaction cou...
Article
Full-text available
While field and laboratory based studies have provided significant insights into the parental care and courtship behaviour of dendrobatoid frogs, a comprehensive assessment of their genetic mating systems and population genetic parameters has been precluded because of the lack of highly variable DNA markers. Here we document the development of nine...
Article
Full-text available
In territorial species, males use signals to advertise territory ownership to other males. In species with acoustic communication, masking interference by heterospecific signals may impede male–male communication and affect the reproductive success of males. Frogs are thought to minimize masking interference by using species-specific frequency chan...

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
We aim to understand what are the costs, benefits and correlates of cannibalistic behaviour among poison frog tadpoles, as well as the role that parental decision-making has in the occurrence of such behaviour.
Archived project
To understand which colour trait(s) aid the detection of coloured stimuli in complex environments
Project
This project investigates multiple selection forces that aposematic and colour polymorphic wood tiger moth face in the wild. This system helps us to understand how predation by birds, diseases, sexual selection and thermoregulation shape phenotypes of individuals.