Advertisement

Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 337–344 | Cite as

Behavioral refractory period in neotropical treefrogs

  • Peter M. Narins
Article

Summary

  1. 1.

    The evoked vocal responses of the treefrogsEleutherodactylus coqui andHyla ebraccata were studied in their natural habitats. Acoustic playback experiments were performed in which the animals' vocalizations were used to trigger the production of a synthetic acoustic stimulus, after an appropriate delay.

     
  2. 2.

    For each species, there was a time period immediately following the frog's call during which an acoustic stimulus was almost completely ineffective at eliciting synchronized responses from the male. This was termed the absolutebehavioral refractory period (BRP) and it's mean value differed for the two species: forE. coqui it is 1133 ms, forH. ebraccata it is 210 ms.

     
  3. 3.

    Immediately following the absolute BRP was a period of about 0.5 s during which an acoustic stimulus evoked synchronized responses with a probability which was a monotonically increasing function of the time of stimulus occurrence, until a particular maximum rate was reached for each individual frog. This period is called the relative BRP.

     
  4. 4.

    Both the duration of the relative BRP and the functional dependence of the synchronized response rate on the time of stimulus occurrence during the relative BRP were remarkably similar for these two species.

     
  5. 5.

    These results are discussed in relation to the density of calling males of each species and are interpreted as an adaptation for avoiding acoustic interference when communicating in a highly noisy environment.

     

Keywords

Maximum Rate Natural Habitat Functional Dependence Refractory Period Acoustic Stimulus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

BRP

behavioral refractory period

SPL

sound pressure level

C. V.

coefficient of variation

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Awbrey FT (1978) Social interaction among chorusing Pacific tree frogs,Hyla regulla. Copeia 2:208–214Google Scholar
  2. Buck J, Buck E (1968) Mechanisms of rhythmic synchronous flashing of fireflies. Science 159:1319–1327Google Scholar
  3. Buck J, Buck E, Case JF, Hanson FE (1981) Control of flashing in fireflies V. Pacemaker synchronization inPteroptyx cribellata. J Comp Physiol 144:287–298Google Scholar
  4. Drewry GE (1970) The role of amphibians in the ecology of Puerto Rican rain forest. In: Puerto Rico nuclear center rain forest project annual report. Puerto Rico Nuclear Center, San Juan, pp 16–63Google Scholar
  5. Heiligenberg W (1969) The effect of stimulus chirps on a cricket's chirping (Acheta domesticus). Z Vergl Physiol 65:70–97Google Scholar
  6. Heiligenberg W, Baker C, Bastian J (1978) The jamming avoidance response in gymnotoid fish species: A mechanism to minimize the probability of pulse-train coincidence. J Comp Physiol 124:211–224Google Scholar
  7. Jones MDR (1974) The effect of acoustic signals on the chirp rhythm in the bush cricketPholidoptera griseoaptera. J Exp Biol 61:345–355Google Scholar
  8. Lemon RE, Struger J (1980) Acoustic entrainment to randomly generated calls by the frog,Hyla crucifer. J Acoust Soc Am 67:2090–2095Google Scholar
  9. Loftus-Hills JJ (1971) Neural correlates of acoustic behavior in the Australian bullfrog,Limnodynastes dorsalis (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Z Vergl Physiol 74:140–152Google Scholar
  10. Loftus-Hills JJ (1974) Analysis of an acoustic pacemaker in Strecker's Chorus Frog,Pseudacris streckeri (Anura:Hylidae). J Comp Physiol 90:75–87Google Scholar
  11. Narins PM (1982) Effects of masking noise on evoked calling in the Puerto Rican coqui (Anura: Leptodaytylidae). J Comp Physiol 147:439–446Google Scholar
  12. Narins PM, Capranica RR (1976) Sexual differences in the auditory system of the tree frog,Eleutherodadylus coqui. Science 192:378–380Google Scholar
  13. Narins PM, Capranica RR (1977) An automated technique for analysis of temporal features in animal vocalizations. Anim Behav 25:615–621Google Scholar
  14. Narins PM, Capranica RR (1978) Communicative significance of the two-note call of the treefrogEleutherodadylus coqui. J Comp Physiol 127:1–9Google Scholar
  15. Narins PM, Capranica RR (1980) Neural adaptations for processing the two-note call of the Puerto Rican treefrog,Eleutherodadylus coqui. Brain Behav Evol 17:48–66Google Scholar
  16. Narins PM, Hurley DD (1982) The relationship between call intensity and function in the Puerto Rican coqui (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Herpetologica 38:287–295Google Scholar
  17. Rosen M, Lemon RE (1974) The vocal behavior of spring peepers,Hyla crucifer. Copeia 4:940–950Google Scholar
  18. Wells KD (1980) Intra- and interspecific communication in the neotropical frogHyla ebraccata. Am Zool 20:724Google Scholar
  19. Wells KD, Greer BJ (1981) Vocal responses to conspecific calls in a neotropical hylid frog,Hyla ebraccata. Copeia 3:615–624Google Scholar
  20. Zelick RD, Narins PM (1982) Analysis of acoustically evoked call suppression behaviour in a neotropical treefrog. Anim Behav (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter M. Narins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations