Behavioural ecology of amphibians: diversity of courtship and feeding tactics


Behavioural ecology emphasizes on the adaptive value of behavioural patterns in function of environmental traits. Depending on external and internal cues, individuals can exhibit tactics that maximize their fitness according to sexual and natural selection. Courtship behaviour is implied in the recognition process between species and at their isolation. This is one of the traits at the basis of the biological concept of species. On the other hand, courtship tactics and secondary sexual traits are both involved in mate choice and have thus an effect on individual fitness. Feeding tactics are also key behavioural patterns that allow resource acquisition in competitive situations where optimal decisions can favour success and survival.  We are interested in the diversity of patterns, particularly at the intra-specific level, but also in understanding the mechanisms and function of tactics in varied abiotic and biotic environments.   Our studies are carried out in controlled conditions in the laboratory and in the natural habitat. Behavioural patterns are analysed by the means of video recording and behavioural softwares (Noldus Observer & Ethovision).


Behavior, behaviour, behavioural ecology, courtship, sexual selection, feeding habits, optimal foraging, reproduction, fitness, amphibian, newt


Biological Sciences {Research discipline}
Genetics {Research discipline}
Ecology and Evolution {Research discipline}
Sociobiology and Behavioural Ecology {Research discipline}
Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences {Research discipline}
Genetic {Integration level}
Species {Integration level}
European (EU) {Cooperation status}
International (non-EU) {Cooperation status}
Origins, Maintenance and Change of Biodiversity {Research orientation}
Belgium {Geographical scope}
France {Geographical scope}
Spain {Geographical scope}
Inland Waters {Habitat type}
Research and Training {Research purpose}
Amphibia {Taxonomical scope}


Name Role Amount
FRIA unknown


Name Role Start End
Denoël, Mathieu promotor 1996-01-01


Name Role Start End
Laboratoire d'éthologie des poissons et amphibiens member 1996-01-01


Reference Role
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Denoël M. 2003. Effect of rival males on the courtship of paedomorphic and metamorphic Triturus alpestris. Copeia 2003: 618-623 author
Denoël M. 2004. Feeding performance in heterochronic Alpine newts is consistent with trophic niche and maintenance of polymorphism. Ethology 110: 127-136 author
Denoël M. & Andreone F. 2003. Trophic habits and aquatic microhabitat use in gilled immature, paedomorphic and metamorphic Alpine newts (Triturus alpestris apuanus) in a pond in central Italy. Belgian Journal of Zoology 133: 95-102 author
Denoël M. & Demars B. 2008. Benefits of heterospecific oophagy in a top predator. Acta Oecologica 34: 74-79 author
Denoël M. & Joly P. 2001. Adaptive significance of facultative paedomorphosis in Triturus alpestris (Amphibia, Caudata): resource partitioning in an Alpine lake. Freshwater Biology, 46: 1387-1396 author
Denoël M. 2004. Terrestrial versus aquatic foraging in juvenile Alpine newts (Triturus alpestris ). Ecoscience 11: 404-409 author
Denoël M. & Joly P. 2001. Size-related predation reduces intramorph competition in paedomorphic Alpine newts. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 79: 943-948. author
Denoël M. & Schabetsberger R. 2003. Resource partitioning in two heterochronic populations of Greek Alpine newts, Triturus alpestris veluchiensis. Acta Oecologica 24: 55-67 author
Denoël M. 1996. Etude comparée du comportement de cour de Triturus alpestris alpestris (Laurenti, 1768) et Triturus alpestris cyreni (Wolterstorff, 1932) : approche évolutive. Cahiers d'Ethologie, 16 (Collection enquêtes et dossiers : 21): 133-258 author
Denoël M., Hector M.P. & Poncin P. 2005. Courtship behavior in the Alpine newt Triturus alpestris at two different densities of males. Herpetologica 61: 373-379 author
Denoël M. 1996. Phénologie et domaine vital de la Salamandre terrestre, Salamandra salamandra terrestris (Amphibia, Caudata) dans un bois du Pays de Herve (Belgique). Cahiers d'Ethologie, 16: 291-306 author
Denoël M. 1998. The modulation of movement as a behavioral adaptation to extreme environments in the newt Triturus alpestris cyreni. Journal of Herpetology, 32: 623-625 author
Denoël M. 1999. Le comportement social des urodèles. Cahiers d'Ethologie, 19: 221-258 author
Denoël M., Mathieu M. & Poncin P. 2005. Effect of water temperature on the courtship behavior of the Alpine newt Triturus alpestris. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58: 121-127 author
Denoël M. 2002. Paedomorphosis in the Alpine newt (Triturus alpestris): decoupling behavioral and morphological change. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 52: 394-399 author
Denoël M., Poncin P. & Ruwet J.C. 2001. Alternative mating tactics in the Alpine newt Triturus alpestris alpestris. Journal of Herpetology, 35: 62-67 author
Denoël M., Poncin P. & Ruwet J.C. 2001. Sexual compatibility between two heterochronic morphs in Triturus alpestris (Caudata, Salamandridae). Animal Behaviour, 62: 559-566 author
Denoël M., Schabetsberger R. & Joly P. 2004. Trophic specializations in alternative heterochronic morphs. Naturwissenschaften 91: 81-84 author
Denoël M., Whiteman H.H. & Wissinger S. 2006. Temporal shift of diet in alternative cannibalistic morphs of the tiger salamander. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 89: 373-382 author

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