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Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 172, Issue 4, pp 425–438 | Cite as

Acoustic, auditory, and morphological divergence in three species of neotropical frog

  • W. Wilczynski
  • B. E. McClelland
  • A. S. Rand
Article

Abstract

Advertisement calls, auditory tuning, and larynx and ear morphology were examined in 3 neotropical frogs, Hyla microcephala, H. phlebodes and H. ebraccata, H. microcephala has the highest call dominant frequency (6.068 kHz) and basilar papilla tuning (5.36 kHz). H. phlebodes and H. ebraccata calls have lower dominant frequencies (3.832 and 3.197 kHz respectively) and basilar papilla tuning (2.79 and 2.56 kHz). The primary call notes of H. ebraccata are longer (181.6 ms) than those of H. microcephala (95.5 ms) or H. phlebodes (87.3 ms). Morphometric analysis suggests that temporal call features differ as laryngeal musculature changes, in the process changing the overall size of the larynx. The spectral aspects of the call differ as head size, and hence the size of its resonating and radiating structures, changes, modifying the dominant frequency of calls by accentuating their higher harmonics when head size decreases. Decreasing head size decreases the size of the middle and inner ear chambers, changing the mechanical tuning of the ear in the same direction as the change in dominant frequency. These changes result in divergent spectral-temporal characteristics of both the sending and receiving portions of the acoustic communication system underlying social behavior in these frogs.

Key words

Amphibian Acoustic communication Larynx Ear Basilar papilla Advertisement call 

Abbreviations

AP

amphibian papilla

BEF

best excitatory frequency

BP

basilar papilla

dB SPL

decibels sound pressure level re:20 μN/m2

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Wilczynski
    • 1
  • B. E. McClelland
    • 1
  • A. S. Rand
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TexasAustinUSA
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboa

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