Males of the quacking frog Crinia georgiana produce calls consisting of 1-11 notes. Playback experiments using synthetic calls showed that males tend to match the number of notes in 2-note and 4-note stimuli; however, males tended to produce more than 1 note in response to a 1-note stimulus and fewer than 8 notes in response to an 8-note stimulus. Successive playbacks of two, 4-note calls from separate speakers indicate that males are likely to match the combined number of notes in the calls of two neighbors, even if they are not equidistant from the focal male. The results are compared with the few other studies of matching in anurans, and interpreted in terms of hypotheses developed to explain matching in songbirds. One attractive and testable hypothesis for call matching in C. georgiana is that males are attempting to produce calls that are at least as attractive to females as those of rivals, without wasting energy.
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Acknowledgements This research was supported by ARC Grant no. A19602654 to R.S. Seymour and J.D.R. H.C.G. was supported by a Distinguished Visiting Scholars Fellowship from the University of Western Australia and an NIMH Research Scientist Award, and M.A.B. was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Thanks to Oliver Berry and Phil Byrne for help in the field or with analyses of call structure and to Mike Smith for data on SPL and frequency versus male body size. Frogs were collected and work was conducted under permits from the West Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM Licence no. SF 001913 and SF 002239) and the University of Western Australia, Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (Approval no. 131/96/96 and 117/97). We also thank the CALM, Mundaring, and Catchment Operations (Water Authority of Western Australia) for permission to work in the study area.
- Call matching
- Crinia georgiana
- Male competition