, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 72-79
Date: 22 Jan 2005

Territorial vocal behavior in hybrid smooth froglets, Geocrinia laevis complex (Anura: Myobatrachidae)

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Males of the parapatically distributed myobatrachid frogs Geocrinia laevis and G. victoriana have highly divergent advertisement calls. Furthermore, the two species differ strongly in the complexity of their vocal repertoires, with males of G. victoriana possessing, and those of G. laevis lacking, a distinct territorial vocalization (encounter call). We investigated the territorial vocal behavior of males in a persistent natural hybrid population. Most hybrid males possessed encounter calls functionally equivalent to those of G. victoriana, that were produced following exposure to playback of recorded advertisement calls presented at >110 dB peak sound pressure level. The territorial acoustic responses were not associated with an index of hybridity derived from the structure of the advertisement call, suggesting genetic and functional decoupling of the two components of the vocal repertoire; i.e., advertisement calls and encounter calls. This decoupling may be the result of sexual selection favouring those hybrids with pronounced territorial behavior and the associated vocalization, regardless of the structure of their advertisement calls.

Communicated by A. Mathis