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Behavioral Ecology of the Eastern Red-Backed Salamander features over 50 years of research findings straight from the lab of the primary researcher of the red-backed salamander. The structure of the book allows for it to be used as a textbook in seminar classes on ecology, behavioral ecology, herpetology, and evolution. It emphasizes how a philosophy of science can be used to develop a long-term, progressive research program, where observations and experiments progress in a logical, chronological series of research steps.
1.1 Bob Jaeger meets the eastern red-backed salamander, Plethodon cinereus
1.2 An introduction to red-backed salamanders
1.3 The plot of our research program
1.4 Comments concerning methodology and statistical paradigms
2. Interspecific competition between Plethodon cinereus and P. shenandoah
2.1 Ecological studies
2.2 Behavioral experiments
2.3 Selected, recent research by others: interspecific competition
3. Intraspecific territoriality by P. cinereus
3.1 Definition and theory
3.2 Distribution and prey availability
3.3 Site tenacity by P. cinereus
3.4 Determining sex and defining behavioral patterns
3.5 The use of odors and dear enemy recognition
3.6 The expulsion of intruders
3.7 Testing territoriality in the forest
3.8 Numerous variables that affect territorial contests
3.9 Life history traits and territorial contests
3.10 Seasonal and geographic variation in territorial agonistic behavior
3.11 Selected, recent research by others: intraspecific territoriality
4. Foraging tactics by P. cinereus within territories
4.1. Foraging on live versus dead prey
4.2. Diet breadth
4.3. Optimal prey choice
4.4. Territorial and foraging behavioral conflicts
4.5. Assessing prey densities
4.6. Judging prey profitabilities
4.7. Conflicts between foraging behavior and territorial defense
4.8. Diet diversity and clutch size
4.9. Selected, recent research by others: foraging tactics
5. Pheromonal glands and pheromonal communication by P. cinereus
5.1. Early studies suggested that pheromones do occur
5.2. Do males of P. cinereus produce territorial pheromones?
5.3. Do females of P. cinereus produce territorial pheromones?
5.4. Where are those pheromones produced in males and females?
5.5. Focusing on the postcloacal gland
5.6. What information does the postcloacal gland communicate?
5.7. What signals do pheromones communicate?
5.8. Scent matching and tail autotomy
5.9. Do territorial pheromones aid in homing behavior by P. cinereus?
5.10. Are pheromones volatile?
5.11. More research needed
5.12. Selected, recent research by others: pheromonal communication
6. Interspecific territoriality and other interspecific behavioral interactions
6.1. Interspecific territoriality between P. cinereus and P. shenandoah
6.2. Rules of engagement with juveniles of P. glutinosus
6.3. Plethodon cinereus in an assemblage of salamanders
6.4. Ecological tests of behavioral predictions: enclosed plots on the forest floor
6.5. More ecological tests of behavioral predictions: unenclosed plots on the forest floor
6.6. Character displacement: P. cinereus versus P. hoffmani
6.7. Competition between P. cinereus and P. hubrichti
6.8. Diversity of behaviors by P. cinereus towards other species
6.9. Selected, recent research by others: interspecific territoriality
7. Intraspecific social behavior within P. cinereus
7.1. Interactions of adults and juveniles in the forest and in the laboratory
7.2. Distributions of adult males and females
7.3. Microdistributions of adults and juveniles
7.4. Female-female interactions
7.5. Male-female behavioral interactions in the forest
7.6. The ESS dating game
7.7. Males, females, and faeces
7.8. Females prefer larger males
7.9. Males and females prefer familiar opposite-sex individuals
7.10. Social monogamy
7.11. Mutual mate guarding
7.12. Sexual coercion
7.13. Imperfect information during sexual discrimination?
7.14. Relationship value and conflict resolution
7.15. Natural versus forced partnerships
7.16. Females are often genetically polyandrous
7.17. Switching from social monogamy to social polygamy
7.18. Brooding behavior and neonates: kin recognition?
7.19. What 3487 uniquely marked salamanders reveal about social relationships
7.20. A preliminary view of social organization within P. cinereus
7.21. Selected, recent research by others: social behavior
8. Predator-prey interactions between P. cinereus and a snake
8.1. Can P. cinereus detect the snake visually or chemically?
8.2. Can the snake detect chemical cues from P. cinereus?
8.3. Naïve snakes recognize odors of P. cinereus
8.4. Tail autotomy deceives the snake
8.5. The snake follows the trail of P. cinereus
8.6. The predator-prey evolutionary arms race
8.7. Selected, recent research by others: predator-prey arms races
9. Cognitive ecology in P. cinereus
9.1. Numerical discrimination by P. cinereus
9.2. Both learning and heritability affect foraging ability
9.3. Displacement of territorial aggression
9.4. The impact of familiarity on salamander behavior
9.5. Individual recognition memory
9.6. Selected, recent research by others: cognitive ecology
10. Coda: synthesis and social behaviors by P. cinereus
10.1. Behavioral variation within a population
10.2. Behavioral options during contests
10.3. How salamanders choose among options
10.4. What are social, mating, and genetic monogamy?
10.5. Mea maxima culpa