Variation in personality traits is observed commonly in many taxa but has been rarely studied in amphibians. We tested whether individual Bullfrog tadpoles exhibit personality, behaving consistently across multiple trials, and differently from conspecifics. From video footage of individual tadpoles in a familiar (home) environment and a novel environment (open field), we obtained measures of their level of activity, boldness, and exploration behavior over multiple trials. We found that activity level did not differ consistently between individuals. Boldness was moderately repeatable and exploration highly repeatable within individuals across trials, but only exploration varied significantly among individuals. These findings provide evidence of typical personality traits in tadpoles and support the value of Bullfrog tadpoles as model organisms in personality research.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2