The anuran calling repertoire in the light of social context


Frogs are immediately associated to their conspicuous vocalizations emitted during the breeding season. Therefore, many scientists were inspired to study their acoustic communication. Nowadays, many types of calls are described and we felt the need of reviewing the terminology currently and historically applied. As a result, we proposed the classification of anuran vocalization into three major categories: reproductive, aggressive, and defensive calls. These categories are subdivided according to the social context of emission mostly reflecting also acoustic differences among call types. Some call types are here proposed to be synonymies of the mostly used and inclusive terms. We also suggest terminologies for basic bioacoustical analyses, mostly applied in call descriptions. Furthermore, we present cases of complex calls, including call gradation. Finally, based on novel data (such as an unusual case of juvenile vocalizations), we discuss situations in which it is difficult to classify call types, reflecting the need of experimental studies.

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Jonatha E. P. Lima helped in field activities. Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) provided grants (2008/50325-5; 2011/51694-7) and fellowships (2008/52847-9; 302589/2013-9) to LFT. DPB thanks FAPESP for a fellowship (2010/17464-1) and Coordenadoria de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior(CAPES) for a grant (PROAP). IAM thanks FAPESP for a grant (2006/56007-0). CFBH thanks FAPESP (2013/50741-7) and CNPq (302518/2013-4) for financial support.

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Correspondence to Luís F. Toledo.

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Warning calls of one adult female of Phyllomedusa nordestina, emitted from the ground after handling and approaching stimuli. (MPG 12488 kb)

Juvenile of Phyllomedusa burmeisteri emitting an unidentified call. (WMV 8513 kb)

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Warning calls of one adult female of Phyllomedusa nordestina, emitted from the ground after handling and approaching stimuli. (MPG 12488 kb)

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Juvenile of Phyllomedusa burmeisteri emitting an unidentified call. (WMV 8513 kb)

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Toledo, L.F., Martins, I.A., Bruschi, D.P. et al. The anuran calling repertoire in the light of social context. acta ethol 18, 87–99 (2015) doi:10.1007/s10211-014-0194-4

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  • Calling activity
  • Vocal behavior
  • Social communication
  • Bioacoustics
  • Categorization