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1 December 2005 Displacement of Territorial Aggression by Male Red-Backed Salamanders
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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that territorial Red-Backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) react aggressively toward intruding Eurycea cirrigera. Our study tested the hypotheses that male and female Red-Backed Salamanders have short-term memory of such territorial intrusions. We allowed focal males and females of P. cinereus to establish territories in laboratory chambers and then presented them with a caged E. cirrigera (treatment 1) or a caged surrogate control (treatment 2). When the cages were removed, the focal salamanders were alone for 5 min and then exposed to an intruding conspecific of the opposite sex. Males (but not females) exhibited significantly more time in threat displays toward the conspecifics in treatment 1 (displacement of territorial aggression) than in treatment 2. We infer, then, that at least males have short-term memory of a past “event” of territorial intrusion.

Robert G. Jaeger, H. George Wang, Nancy R. Kohn, and Hannah S. Cross "Displacement of Territorial Aggression by Male Red-Backed Salamanders," Journal of Herpetology 39(4), 653-656, (1 December 2005). https://doi.org/10.1670/165-04N.1
Accepted: 1 July 2005; Published: 1 December 2005
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