Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 190, Issue 10, pp 823–829

The rôle of call frequency and the auditory papillae in phonotactic behavior in male Dart-poison frogs Epipedobates femoralis (Dendrobatidae)

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00359-004-0536-1

Cite this article as:
Hödl, W., Amézquita, A. & Narins, P.M. J Comp Physiol A (2004) 190: 823. doi:10.1007/s00359-004-0536-1


Territorial males of the pan-Amazonian Dart-poison frog, Epipedobates femoralis, are known to present stereotypic phonotactic responses to the playback of conspecific and synthetic calls. Fixed site attachment and a long calling period within an environment of little temperature change render this terrestrial and diurnal pan-Amazonian frog a rewarding species for field bioacoustics. In experiments at the field station Arataï, French Guiana, we tested whether the prominent frequency modulation of the advertisement-call notes is critical for eliciting phonotactic responses. Substitution of the natural upward sweep by either a pure tone within the species frequency range or a reverse sweep did not alter the males’ phonotactic behavior. Playbacks with artificial advertisement calls embedded in high levels of either low-pass or high-pass masking noise designed to saturate nerve fibers from either the amphibian papilla or basilar papilla showed that male phonotactic behavior in this species is subserved by activation of the basilar papilla of the inner ear.


Acoustic playback experiment Anura Call frequency modulation Phonotaxis Territorial behavior 



Frequency modulated


Amphibian papilla


Basilar papilla

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of ViennaWienAustria
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad de Los AndesBogotáColombia
  3. 3.Departments of Physiological Science and Organismic Biology, Ecology and EvolutionUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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