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Female call preferences in tree-hole frogs: why are there so many unattractive males?

Lardner, Björn LU and Lakim, M B (2004) In Animal Behaviour 68(2). p.265-272
Abstract
In tree-hole frogs, Metaphrynella sundana, the fundamental call frequency varies widely between males. In field playback experiments, females strongly preferred calls from the lower range of frequencies found in the population. There was no correlation, however, between male size and call frequency, as is normally the case for anurans, so large males were not necessarily more attractive to females. Presence or absence of upper harmonics in the call had no effect on female choice. Tree holes with shallow air columns were more often used by calling frogs, and were presumably more common, than deep holes. Since male M. sundana actively exploit the resonant properties of tree holes for mate attraction, and high frequencies match comparatively... (More)
In tree-hole frogs, Metaphrynella sundana, the fundamental call frequency varies widely between males. In field playback experiments, females strongly preferred calls from the lower range of frequencies found in the population. There was no correlation, however, between male size and call frequency, as is normally the case for anurans, so large males were not necessarily more attractive to females. Presence or absence of upper harmonics in the call had no effect on female choice. Tree holes with shallow air columns were more often used by calling frogs, and were presumably more common, than deep holes. Since male M. sundana actively exploit the resonant properties of tree holes for mate attraction, and high frequencies match comparatively shallow holes, the benefits of attaining acoustic matching probably select for high-frequency calls. In addition, males with high-frequency calls may be heard from a greater distance in the vicinity of torrent streams. Since the level of such noise in the forest varies in time and space, different frequencies may prove optimal in different contexts, thereby preserving the observed variation within the population. Having an 'unattractive' high-frequency call should be potentially beneficial only when calling males do not congregate, a condition that our data suggest is fulfilled in this system. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Animal Behaviour
volume
68
issue
2
pages
265 - 272
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000223614300005
  • scopus:3242676214
ISSN
1095-8282
DOI
10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.05.003
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c8ab6f51-3e95-41d0-9a55-e8a64bfbf55f (old id 136915)
date added to LUP
2007-06-25 13:35:49
date last changed
2017-01-01 05:12:38
@article{c8ab6f51-3e95-41d0-9a55-e8a64bfbf55f,
  abstract     = {In tree-hole frogs, Metaphrynella sundana, the fundamental call frequency varies widely between males. In field playback experiments, females strongly preferred calls from the lower range of frequencies found in the population. There was no correlation, however, between male size and call frequency, as is normally the case for anurans, so large males were not necessarily more attractive to females. Presence or absence of upper harmonics in the call had no effect on female choice. Tree holes with shallow air columns were more often used by calling frogs, and were presumably more common, than deep holes. Since male M. sundana actively exploit the resonant properties of tree holes for mate attraction, and high frequencies match comparatively shallow holes, the benefits of attaining acoustic matching probably select for high-frequency calls. In addition, males with high-frequency calls may be heard from a greater distance in the vicinity of torrent streams. Since the level of such noise in the forest varies in time and space, different frequencies may prove optimal in different contexts, thereby preserving the observed variation within the population. Having an 'unattractive' high-frequency call should be potentially beneficial only when calling males do not congregate, a condition that our data suggest is fulfilled in this system.},
  author       = {Lardner, Björn and Lakim, M B},
  issn         = {1095-8282},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {265--272},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Animal Behaviour},
  title        = {Female call preferences in tree-hole frogs: why are there so many unattractive males?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2004.05.003},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2004},
}