Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 433–444 | Cite as

Call timing is determined by response call type, but not by stimulus properties, in the treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus

  • Michael S. Reichert
Original Paper

Abstract

A common form of signal competition in acoustically chorusing animals involves the precise timing of calls relative to those of other nearby individuals. In this study, I present a detailed description of nonrandom timing of both advertisement and aggressive calls in males of the Neotropical treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus. I used playback tests to measure call delays for both advertisement and aggressive calls given in response to synthetic advertisement and aggressive call stimuli presented with either a fixed or random timing arrangement. Call delays for a given response call type were nonrandomly distributed and did not differ depending on the fixed or random periodicity of stimulus presentation or on the stimulus call type. In general, advertisement call responses overlapped the playback stimuli, while aggressive calls were given with a much longer delay and did not overlap the playback stimuli. A second test involved the presentation of low pulse number advertisement and aggressive call stimuli to determine if males were capable of nonrandom timing to truncated stimuli. These playbacks also assessed whether they responded more aggressively to truncated aggressive call stimuli. Males usually showed synchrony in response to truncated calls of both types, more commonly in response to truncated advertisement calls. There were no differences in aggressive responses to truncated advertisement or aggressive calls. Call delays appear to be a property solely of the type of call that the male produces, regardless of the kind of stimulus. Thus, there may be a conflict between the ability to discriminate between signals and the ability to rapidly respond to these signals with an appropriate call delay.

Keywords

Call timing Synchrony Alternation Aggressive call 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need fellowship from the University of Missouri and the U.S. Department of Education (P200A070476). Flavia Barbosa, Carl Gerhardt, and two anonymous reviewers provided helpful criticism on earlier versions of this paper. John Christy sponsored this project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. I would like to thank the STRI staff for their logistical assistance. Benjamin Nickelson and Daniel Gruhn assisted with call analyses. This article is part of Michael S. Reichert’s doctoral dissertation at the University of Missouri.

Ethical standards

These experiments comply with the current laws of the Republic of Panama and the United States of America. The Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente of the Republic of Panama provided permits for this work. The experimental protocol was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the University of Missouri (ACUC protocol no. 1910).

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Bee MA, Bowling AC (2002) Socially mediated pitch alteration by territorial male bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana. J Herpetol 36:140–143Google Scholar
  2. Berens P (2009) CircStat: a MATLAB toolbox for circular statistics. J Stat Softw 31:1–21Google Scholar
  3. Brush JS, Narins PM (1989) Chorus dynamics of a neotropical amphibian assemblage: comparison of computer simulation and natural behaviour. Anim Behav 37:33–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buck J (1988) Synchronous rhythmic flashing of fireflies. II. Q Rev Biol 63:265–289PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fisher NI, Lewis T (1983) Estimating the common mean direction of several circular or spherical distributions with differing dispersions. Biometrika 70:333–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gayou DC (1984) Effects of temperature on the mating call of Hyla versicolor. Copeia 1984:733–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gerhardt HC, Huber F (2002) Acoustic communication in insects and anurans. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  8. Given MF (1987) Vocalizations and acoustic interactions of the carpenter frog, Rana virgatipes. Herpetologica 43:467–481Google Scholar
  9. Grafe TU (1996) The function of call alternation in the African reed frog (Hyperolius marmoratus): precise call timing prevents auditory masking. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 38:149–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grafe TU (1999) A function of synchronous chorusing and a novel female preference shift in an anuran. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 266:2331–2336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Grafe TU (2003) Synchronized interdigitated calling in the Kuvangu running frog, Kassina kuvangensis. Anim Behav 66:127–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Greenfield MD (1994a) Cooperation and conflict in the evolution of signal interactions. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 25:97–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenfield MD (1994b) Synchronous and alternating choruses in insects and anurans—common mechanisms and diverse functions. Am Zool 34:605–615Google Scholar
  14. Greenfield MD (2002) Signalers and receivers. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Greenfield MD, Roizen I (1993) Katydid synchronous chorusing is an evolutionarily stable outcome of female choice. Nature 364:618–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greenfield MD, Tourtellot MK, Snedden WA (1997) Precedence effects and the evolution of chorusing. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 264:1355–1361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartbauer M, Kratzer S, Steiner K, Römer H (2005) Mechanisms for synchrony and alternation in song interactions of the bushcricket Mecopoda elongata (Tettigoniidae: Orthoptera). J Comp Physiol A 191:175–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Höbel G, Gerhardt HC (2007) Sources of selection on signal timing in a tree frog. Ethology 113:973–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jones MDR (1966a) The acoustic behaviour of the bush cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera: I. Alternation, synchronism and rivalry between males. J Exp Biol 45:15–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Jones MDR (1966b) The acoustic behaviour of the bush cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera: II. Interaction with artificial sound signals. J Exp Biol 45:31–44PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Klump GM, Gerhardt HC (1992) Mechanisms and function of call timing in male–male interactions in frogs. In: McGregor PK (ed) Playback and studies of animal communication. Plenum, New York, pp 153–174Google Scholar
  22. Kotiaho JS, Alatalo RV, Mappes J, Parri S (2004) Adaptive significance of synchronous chorusing in an acoustically signalling wolf spider. Proc R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 271:1847–1850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Minckley RL, Greenfield MD, Tourtellot MK (1995) Chorus structure in tarbush grasshoppers—inhibition, selective phonoresponse and signal competition. Anim Behav 50:579–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moore SW, Lewis ER, Narins PM, Lopez PT (1989) The call-timing algorithm of the white-lipped frog, Leptodactylus albilabris. J Comp Physiol A 164:309–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Naguib M, Mennill DJ (2010) The signal value of birdsong: empirical evidence suggests song overlapping is a signal. Anim Behav 80:e11–e15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Narins PM (1982) Behavioral refractory period in Neotropical treefrogs. J Comp Physiol 148:337–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nityananda V, Balakrishnan R (2007) Synchrony during acoustic interactions in the bushcricket Mecopoda ‘Chirper’ (Tettigoniidae:Orthoptera) is generated by a combination of chirp-by-chirp resetting and change in intrinsic chirp rate. J Comp Physiol A 193:51–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Penna M, Narins PM, Feng AS (2005) Thresholds for evoked vocal responses of Eupsophus emiliopugini (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae). Herpetologica 61:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rand AS, Ryan MJ (1981) The adaptive significance of a complex vocal repertoire in a Neotropical frog. Z Tierpsychol 57:209–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reichert M (2010) Aggressive thresholds in Dendropsophus ebraccatus: habituation and sensitization to different call types. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 64:529–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reichert M (2011a) Effects of multiple-speaker playbacks on aggressive calling behavior in the treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 65:1739–1751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Reichert MS (2011b) Aggressive calls improve leading callers’ attractiveness in the treefrog Dendropsophus ebraccatus. Behav Ecol 22:951–959CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Richardson C, Lena J-P, Joly P, Lengagne T (2008) Are leaders good mates? A study of call timing and male quality in a chorus situation. Anim Behav 76:1487–1495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rosen M, Lemon RE (1974) Vocal behavior of spring peepers, Hyla crucifer. Copeia 1974:940–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ryan MJ (1986) Synchronized calling in a treefrog (Smilisca sila). Brain Behav Evol 29:196–206PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schwartz JJ (1987) The function of call alternation in anuran amphibians: a test of three hypotheses. Evolution 41:461–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schwartz JJ (1991) Why stop calling? A study of unison bout singing in a Neotropical treefrog. Anim Behav 42:565–577CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Schwartz JJ, Buchanan B, Gerhardt HC (2002) Acoustic interactions among male gray treefrogs, Hyla versicolor, in a chorus setting. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 53:9–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schwartz JJ, Wells KD (1984) Interspecific acoustic interactions of the Neotropical treefrog Hyla ebraccata. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 14:211–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sismondo E (1990) Synchronous, alternating, and phase-locked stridulation by a tropical katydid. Science 249:55–58PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tuttle MD, Ryan MJ (1982) The role of synchronized calling, ambient light, and ambient noise in anti-bat-predator behavior of a treefrog. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 11:125–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Walker TJ (1969) Acoustic synchrony: two mechanisms in the snowy tree cricket. Science 166:891–894PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wells KD (1989) Vocal communication in a Neotropical treefrog, Hyla ebraccata: responses of males to graded aggressive calls. Copeia 1989:461–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wells KD, Schwartz JJ (1984a) Vocal communication in a Neotropical treefrog, Hyla ebraccata: advertisement calls. Anim Behav 32:405–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wells KD, Schwartz JJ (1984b) Vocal communication in a Neotropical treefrog, Hyla ebraccata: aggressive calls. Behaviour 91:128–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zar JH (2010) Biostatistical analysis, 5th edn. Pearson, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar
  47. Zelick RD, Narins PM (1983) Intensity discrimination and the precision of call timing in two species of Neotropical treefrogs. J Comp Physiol 153:403–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

Personalised recommendations