Abstract

For most pond-breeding anurans, movement is fundamental for foraging, reproduction, avoidance of adverse environmental conditions, and predator avoidance and escape. Although the influence of environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall on anuran activity other than movement is well documented, the effect of these factors on anuran movement is less clear. In this study, we examined the influence of environmental factors on distances moved by 11 adult male Butter Frogs (Leptodactylus latrans) during their breeding season. We fitted movement data as the response variable and environmental factors as fixed effects in generalized linear models and performed model selection and model averaging to understand the contribution of each variable to movement. We were not able to identify any environmental factors that trigger movement in Leptodactylus latrans, but distance moved was positively related to darker phases of the moon, higher temperatures, and greater rainfall. Behavioral response to the lunar cycle is believed to be associated with predator avoidance and reproduction synchronization, whereas responses to temperature and rainfall are most associated with water balance and metabolic regulation.

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