Responses to conspecific advertisement calls in the green frog (Rana clamitans) and their role in male-male communication

Mark A. Bee, Stephen A. Perrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


We investigated vocal communication between males in a central Indiana population of the green frog, Rana clamitans. Three playback experiments were conducted. In the first test, we broadcasted a single-note and a multiple-note conspecific acvertisement call and a control call (Acris crepitans) to calling males. In response to the conspecific stimuli, males increased the number of calls made per minute, increased note duration, lowered the dominant frequency in the call, and often approached the speaker platform. In a second playback test, designed to examine changes in the sound pressure levels of response calls, we broadcasted a conspecific single-note advertisement call and the control call to calling males. Males in this test lowered the intensity of their responses to the conspecific stimulus. We take these altered response calls to be encounter calls used in the vocal defense of a territory during agonistic male-male interactions. We examine the function of these calls and discuss their possible role in communication between males, In the third test, we broadcasted a second type of conspecific multiple-note call and the control call. In their responses, males increased the number of the second multiple-note calls. The multiple-note stimulus used in this test failed to elicit the agonistic responses of the first two conspecific calls. The role of his second type of multiple-note call in male-male communication remains unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-301
Number of pages19
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Missouri, 65211, USA. 2) We thank Kent Wells, Kit Murphy, and Carl Gerhardt for critically reviewing the manuscript. Joe Schmid provided access to the ponds in Eagle Creek Park and Robert Padgett assisted with statistical analyses. This research was supported by a summer research grant from the Butler Academic Grants Committee as part of the Butler Summer Institute to MB and a Butler Fellowship and sabbatical leave to SP.


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