acta ethologica

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 87–99 | Cite as

The anuran calling repertoire in the light of social context

  • Luís F. ToledoEmail author
  • Itamar A. Martins
  • Daniel P. Bruschi
  • Michel A. Passos
  • César Alexandre
  • Célio F. B. Haddad


Frogs are immediately associated to their conspicuous vocalizations emitted during the breeding season. Therefore, many scientists were inspired to study their acoustic communication. Nowadays, many types of calls are described and we felt the need of reviewing the terminology currently and historically applied. As a result, we proposed the classification of anuran vocalization into three major categories: reproductive, aggressive, and defensive calls. These categories are subdivided according to the social context of emission mostly reflecting also acoustic differences among call types. Some call types are here proposed to be synonymies of the mostly used and inclusive terms. We also suggest terminologies for basic bioacoustical analyses, mostly applied in call descriptions. Furthermore, we present cases of complex calls, including call gradation. Finally, based on novel data (such as an unusual case of juvenile vocalizations), we discuss situations in which it is difficult to classify call types, reflecting the need of experimental studies.


Calling activity Vocal behavior Social communication Bioacoustics Categorization 



Jonatha E. P. Lima helped in field activities. Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) provided grants (2008/50325-5; 2011/51694-7) and fellowships (2008/52847-9; 302589/2013-9) to LFT. DPB thanks FAPESP for a fellowship (2010/17464-1) and Coordenadoria de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior(CAPES) for a grant (PROAP). IAM thanks FAPESP for a grant (2006/56007-0). CFBH thanks FAPESP (2013/50741-7) and CNPq (302518/2013-4) for financial support.

Supplementary material

10211_2014_194_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (77 kb)
Table S1 (PDF 77 kb)
Video S1

Warning calls of one adult female of Phyllomedusa nordestina, emitted from the ground after handling and approaching stimuli. (MPG 12488 kb)

Video S2

Juvenile of Phyllomedusa burmeisteri emitting an unidentified call. (WMV 8513 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ISPA 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luís F. Toledo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Itamar A. Martins
    • 2
  • Daniel P. Bruschi
    • 3
  • Michel A. Passos
    • 1
  • César Alexandre
    • 4
  • Célio F. B. Haddad
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratório de História Natural de Anfíbios Brasileiros (LaHNAB), Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Zoologia, IBBUniversidade de TaubatéTaubatéBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Biologia Estrutural e Funcional, Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual de CampinasCampinasBrazil
  4. 4.Universidade do Vale do ParaíbaSão José dos CamposBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade Estadual PaulistaRio ClaroBrazil

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