Simulated chorus attracts conspecific and heterospecific Amazonian explosive breeding frogs

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Fouquet Antoine1, Tilly Thomas2, Pašukonis Andrius3, Courtois Elodie A.4, Gaucher Philippe4, Ulloa Juan5, 6, 7, Sueur Jérôme5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB) UMR5174 Toulouse, France
2 : Studio d’en haut, Nantes, France
3 : Department of Biology Stanford University Stanford CA, USA
4 : Laboratoire Ecologie, Evolution, Interactions des Systèmes Amazoniens (LEEISA) Cayenne ,French Guiana
5 : Institut Systématique Evolution Biodiversité (ISYEB) Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle CNRS Sorbonne Université EPHE Paris ,France
6 : Equipe Communications Acoustiques UMR 9197 Neuro‐PSI‐CNRS Université Paris‐Sud Orsay ,France
7 : Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt Bogotá ,Colombia
Source Biotropica (0006-3606) (Wiley), 2021-01 , Vol. 53 , N. 1 , P. 63-73
DOI 10.1111/btp.12845
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) Anuran, French Guiana, Neotropics, orientation, phonotaxis, reproduction

In tropical regions, some anuran species breed "explosively", reproducing in massive and highly diverse aggregations during a brief window of time. These aggregations can serve as acoustic beacons, attracting other anurans toward seasonal ponds. We hypothesize that conspecific and heterospecific calls play a role in navigation toward ponds and synchronization of reproduction among species. We simulated a chorus of two species (Trachycephalus coriaceus and Chiasmocleis shudikarensis) with contrasting call characteristics (low‐frequency vs. high‐frequency) and reproductive strategies (strict pond breeder vs. opportunistic) near known explosive breeding sites. We predicted that choruses of T. coriaceus are more attractive to heterospecifics than of C. shudikarensis because the first provides a more reliable indicator of a suitable breeding pond and a better long‐distance signal. We found that both choruses attracted conspecific frogs to the playback outside a natural breeding event. As predicted, heterospecifics were attracted only by low‐frequency calls of T. coriaceus that breeds exclusively in large ponds, but not by higher frequency calls of C. shudikarensis that also breeds in small pools not suitable for other species. Our study presents the first experimental evidence that tropical explosive breeding anurans are attracted to conspecific and heterospecific choruses. The contrasting effect of the playback of the two species on heterospecifics suggests that the attractive effect of a chorus depends on the reproductive strategy of both the sender and the receiver. Given the abundance and diversity of communities in tropical ecosystems, the use of heterospecific acoustic cues may prove widespread and requires further investigation.

Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
11 1 MB Access on demand
Author's final draft 28 1 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Fouquet Antoine, Tilly Thomas, Pašukonis Andrius, Courtois Elodie A., Gaucher Philippe, Ulloa Juan, Sueur Jérôme (2021). Simulated chorus attracts conspecific and heterospecific Amazonian explosive breeding frogs. Biotropica, 53(1), 63-73. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :