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Sexual Selection and Calling Behavior in the American Toad (Bufo americanus)

Brian K. Sullivan
Copeia
Vol. 1992, No. 1 (Feb. 3, 1992), pp. 1-7
DOI: 10.2307/1446530
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1446530
Page Count: 7
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Sexual Selection and Calling Behavior in the American Toad (Bufo americanus)
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Abstract

Mating system structure, variation in advertisement and release calls, and calling behavior were investigated during a three-year period in Bufo americanus in east-central Maine. Although the breeding season was relatively brief, chorus size was small, and males participated in chorus activity for an average of six or seven nights within a season. Pulse rate and duration of the advertisement call were significantly correlated with temperature, but neither frequency nor call rate was influenced by temperature over a 10 C range. Dominant frequency was the only advertisement call variable significantly (negatively) correlated with snout-vent length in one of two years for one of two populations studied. Similarly, dominant frequency was the only release call variable significantly (negatively) correlated with male size (snout-vent length and mass). Males exhibited consistency in both call rate and call duration as measured over a series of nights of chorus activity: repeatability (intraclass correlation coefficient) was 0.52 for call duration and 0.24 for call rate. Females did not discriminate between high and low frequency calls in discrimination experiments; however, females did prefer calls broadcast at relatively high call efforts (rate × duration).

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