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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

Editors-in-Chief: T.C.M. Bakker; J.F.A. Traniello

ISSN: 0340-5443 (print version)
ISSN: 1432-0762 (electronic version)

Journal no. 265

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Welcome to the BES Journal Cover Gallery


Bluetongue skink (Tiliqua scindoides) using a characteristic deimatic display to startle a potential predator by expanding and protruding its highly conspicuous UV-blue tongue.
Photo credits: Shane Black. For more information
see Badiane A, Carazo P, Price-Rees SJ, Ferrando-
Bernal M, Whiting MJ (2018) Why blue tongue?
A potential UV-based deimatic display in a lizard.
Behav Ecol Sociobiol 72:104


In this David-versus-Goliath scene in the Brazilian tropical savanna, an adult pseudoscorpion (Paratemnoids nifificator) ambushes a turtle ant worker (Cephalotes atratus). The pseudoscorpion pulls the prey into its nest, where conspecifics jointly attack.
Photo credit: Everton Tizo-Pedroso. See Moura et al. Colony size, habitat structure and prey size shape the predation ecology of a social pseudoscorpion from a tropical savanna Vol. 72, issue 7.
Adult female Colobus vellerosus with her young infant in natal coat. This colobine monkey inhabits forests in the Eastern portion of the Upper Guinea Forest zone of West Africa. Scramble competition for food necessitates range expansion during times of low food availability, increasing inter-group conflict. Smaller groups with a single, competitive male tend to win inter-group encounters.
(Photo courtesy of Luke Larter.)


Adult female puff adder (Bitis arietans) waiting in ambush for prey. Puff adders are “sit-and-wait” ambush foragers that are typically nocturnal. Analyses of recordings from continuously operating remote videocameras focused on hunting snakes revealed that these cryptic predators use different aggressive mimic signals - lingual and caudal luring - to attract prey within striking range.
(Photograph: Xavier Glaudas. Permission to use this photo courtesy of the Committee for Research and Exploration at the National Geographic Society.)
Adult male Green Treefrog, Hyla cinerea. These treefrogs have expanded their range northward in a pattern consistent with climate change, creating new contact zones with the Barking Treefrog Hyla gratiosa, a sister species. Analyses of call recordings show that populations have altered call characteristics after only 8 years of syntopy.
Photo courtesy of Noah Mark Gordon.


Longitudinal studies of long-lived species require huge commitments of time and resources, but the resulting datasets offer unparalleled insights into the flexibility of social and ecological strategies. The Amboseli Elephant Research Project has tracked more than 3000 elephants in southern Kenya since 1972, and is the longest-running elephant study. Marigold (cover image) took over leadership of her family group after her mother’s death in 2009; tracking Marigold’s reproductive and social history enables us to explore her success, that of her offspring and the rest of her family. She became a grandmother for the first time in 2014, at the age of 35.
(Photograph copyright Amboseli Trust for Elephants)


Australian weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) hold leaves together to repair a leaf nest in the rainforest ofT ownsville, Queensland. As their name implies, workers weave arboreal nests by forming a chain from their bodies to draw leaves together. Leaves anchored in position by workers are then “sewn” together by shuttling silk-secreting larvae between leaves. This species is renowned for its complex social organization.
(Photograph copyright J. Frances Kamhi)


Cover illustration: Oliver Krüger
A polar bear pounces to break the pack ice off the coast of Severnaya Zemlya in Russia. Polar bears locate seal pups in their lairs by smell and try to break into them.


Cover illustration: Peter M. Buston and Shane Paterson
Animal societies are one of the most remarkable products of evolution, and they have been a hotbed for tests of evolutionary theory ever since Darwin pointed out the difficulties that some aspects of societies (e.g., non-breeding strategies and helping strategies) posed for his theory of natural selection. The existence of societies requires that genetically selfish individuals come together and reproduce as part of a group. In these groups, there will be potential conflict between individuals over the allocation of reproduction. This potential conflict must be resolved for these groups to be stable. Thus the key to understanding societies lies in understanding how and why reproductive conflicts among individuals are resolved. The photograph on the cover shows a male clown anemonefish, Amphiprion percula (Pomacentridae) caring for his day-old eggs. Groups of A. percula are always found in close association with sea anemones (in this case, the magnificent sea anemone, Heteractis magnifica), which provide them with protection from predators. Each group is composed of a dominant breeding pair and zero to four subordinate non-breeders. A. percula has been studied to understand i) why breeders tolerate the presence of non-breeders, ii) why non-breeders tolerate their situation, iii) how potential conflict between breeders and non-breeders is resolved, and iv) how strategies at the individual level give rise to emergent properties, such as size-hierarchies, at the group level. In A. percula, breeders gain no measureable benefits from the presence of non-breeders, but non-breeders benefit greatly from their position because they stand to inherit a breeding position in the future and there is nowhere else for them to go (the habitat is completely saturated). This asymmetry in the benefits of the association creates a potential conflict, because non-breeders are always potential challengers to breeders. This conflict is resolved by breeders threatening to evict non-breeders and, in response to this threat, each non-breeder regulating its growth to remain exactly 80% of the body size of its immediate dominant – at this size subordinates have a zero probability of winning a contest with their dominant and they are tolerated. Work on A. percula demonstrates the importance of understanding future benefits and hidden threats if we are to understand the current actions of individuals in animal societies. PMB.


Cover illustration: WMXDesign GmbH, Heidelberg


Cover illustration:
-Big cover picture: Carlos Palacín 2009
-Small cover pictures by courtesy of WMXDesign, Heidelberg


Cover illustration: WMXDesign GmbH, Heidelberg

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    The journal publishes reviews, original contributions and commentaries dealing with quantitative empirical and theoretical studies in the analysis of animal behavior at the level of the individual, group, population, community, and species. The section "Methods" considers submissions concerning statistical procedures and their problems, as well as with problems related to measurement techniques.

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