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Abstract

The social and reproductive behaviour of the dart-poison frog, Epipedobates femoralis, was studied in Amazonian Peru for 14 months. Males defended territories with advertisement calls and, ultimately, fighting. Territory size ranged from 0.25 to 26 m2 and was positively correlated with duration of residence and calling activity of the owner. Females were not territorial and were never attacked when approaching calling males. Males and females only mated once and females sampled calling males before mating. Male mating success was closely correlated with territory size and calling activity. No correlation was found between male body size and mating success. Territories provide residents with sufficient space for mate attraction and reproduction without interference from rivals. Since territory size is dependent on calling activity which involves high energetic costs, it is suggested that territory size reveals male quality.