Efficient eavesdroppers and evasive advertisers: The sensory and cognitive ecology of frog-eating bats and their anuran prey Event as iCalendar

(Biodiversity and Biosecurity, Biological Sciences, Environment, Seminars)

15 May 2017

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1, Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds Street, City Campus

Host: School of Biological Sciences

Cost: Free - all welcome

Contact info: Dr Chrissie Painting

Contact email: chrissie.painting@auckland.ac.nz

Efficient eavesdroppers and evasive advertisers: The sensory and cognitive ecology of frog-eating bats and their anuran prey

Dr Rachel Page, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama

Across the animal world, elaborate courtship displays have evolved in response to sexual selection. Eavesdropping predators exert counter-selection on male advertisement signals, exploiting these signals to detect, assess and localise their prey.

Dr Rachel Page, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, investigates this relationship in the neotropical frog-eating bat, Trachops cirrhosus, a predator that eavesdrops on frog mating calls. In this seminar, she will discuss bat sensory strategies to detect their prey, and the counter-strategies used by the prey to evade them.

Results from flight cage experiments shed light on the costs and benefits of multi-modal courtship displays, and show how predator learning, flexibility and memory influence selective pressure on sexually signalling prey.