Name: Salgado X

Biodeserts supervisors: Boratyński Z

Title: Behavioural optimization of camouflage in two cryptic species of North African jerboas (Jaculus: Dipodidae)

Institution: International University Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP), Spain

Status: Completed



The relationship between the degree of camouflage and behaviour (e.g. tendency to be active or secretive) relates to detectability and can drive evolution of camouflage in both predator or prey. However, the covariation between camouflage accuracy and constraining behavioural traits that could be under selection, such as animal personality, remains barely tested. In this work we used North African Jaculus species to test if camouflage accuracy and personality traits, such as tendency to show escape behaviour, differed between species; and if those antipredator traits showed covariation among them. We found that, as previously thought, Jaculus species show differences in their colouration and camouflage accuracy. We also found that Jaculus species showed differences in the personality traits related to antipredator behaviours when exposed to open field tests. Although weak, we found covariation between these personality traits and camouflage accuracy. Together, these findings give a hint on the importance of the link between behaviour and camouflage in the North African Jaculus species. Giving an example on the importance on the relation of animal personality traits and camouflage.