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1 June 2011 The ‘Push-Up’ as a Calling Posture in Nectophrynoides tornieri (Anura: Bufonidae) in the Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania
Iris Starnberger, Pepijn Kamminga, Victor Chik Fosah, Clive Nuttman
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Abstract

Males of Tornier's Forest Toad, Nectophrynoides tornieri, were observed to perform a peculiar display posture, the ‘push-up’: the males raised themselves from a substrate (always a plant structure) by first stretching their fore legs into a ‘sit-up’ and then their hind legs to assume the position. We examined possible functions for the push-up position in manipulative behavioral experiments. In a majority of the tested males, the introduction of a conspecific male only evoked the less conspicuous sit-up display, whereas a playback of male vocalization more often triggered the full push-up position, usually followed by a vocal response. We found no association between the sit-up and the push-up display and the presence of a female N. tornieri near a male's calling perch. Our findings support the hypothesis that the push-up posture is a display in response to other calling males; whilst being the usual calling posture, it might also be important in visual communication. We describe in detail the characteristics of the call for the first time; vocalizing males were found at more elevated positions than previously reported and there were no common distinctive microhabitat features between calling sites.

The Herpetologists' League, Inc.
Iris Starnberger, Pepijn Kamminga, Victor Chik Fosah, and Clive Nuttman "The ‘Push-Up’ as a Calling Posture in Nectophrynoides tornieri (Anura: Bufonidae) in the Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania," Herpetologica 67(2), 124-134, (1 June 2011). https://doi.org/10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-10-00017.1
Accepted: 1 January 2011; Published: 1 June 2011
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