Calling in gray treefrog choruses: Modifications and mysteries

Mark Bee, Joshua J. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Frogs are well known model systems in the study of communication for investigating the influences of noise on both signaling behavior and auditory processing. The best-studied frogs in this regard are two sister-species in the Hyla versicolor species complex (H. versicolor and H. chrysoscelis). Males of both species produce loud, pulsatile advertisement calls that function to attract females. In the competitive social environment of a breeding chorus, males commonly shift to producing longer calls (with more pulses) at slower rates when the level of competition increases. These behavioral modifications can be evoked in controlled laboratory experiments using playbacks of calls and chorus-shaped noise. In contrast to birds and mammals, however, there is no evidence that males increase the amplitude of their vocalizations (the Lombard Effect) in response to increasing noise levels. In addition, current evidence suggests that males do not necessarily profit significantly from producing longer calls at slower rates in terms of increasing their overall attractiveness to females, overcoming interference by overlapping calls, or increasing the detectability of their calls in noise. Despite the robust and directional nature of call modifications in noise, the evolutionary function of these modifications remains obscure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number010054
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2013
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Jun 2 2013Jun 7 2013


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