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Bimodal acoustic calls used in mate-choice and aggression by red-eyed treefrogs

Cite this dataset

Caldwell, Michael (2022). Bimodal acoustic calls used in mate-choice and aggression by red-eyed treefrogs [Dataset]. Dryad.


Dataset in support of the manuscript entitled: Beyond sound: Bimodal acoustic calls used in mate-choice and aggression by red-eyed treefrogs.

Included are results from bimodal, sound and vibration, playback trials with male and female red-eyed treefrogs (Agalychnis callidryas). Listed are trial type, whether the animal, if female, was collected in amplexus, and measures of its response to playback. These data may be reused freely.

A description of the study follows.

Airborne sound signals function as key mediators of mate-choice, aggression, and other social interactions in a wide range of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Calling animals produce more than sound, however. When displaying on or near a solid substrate, such as vegetation or soil, they also unavoidably excite substrate vibrations due to the physics of sound production and of acoustic propagation, and these vibrations can propagate to receivers. Despite their near ubiquity, these vibrational signal components have received very little research attention, and in vertebrates it is completely unknown whether they are relevant to mate-choice, an important driver of evolutionary divergence. Here we show that female red-eyed treefrogs are more than twice as likely to choose a male mating call when airborne sound is paired with its corresponding substrate vibrations. Furthermore, males of the same species are more aggressive towards and display a greater range of aggressive behaviors in response to bimodal (sound and vibration) versus unimodal (sound or vibration alone) calls. In aggressive contexts, at least, air- and substrate-borne signal components function non-redundantly. These results are a clear demonstration that vibrations produced by a calling animal can function together with airborne sound to markedly enhance the function of a signal. If this phenomenon proves widespread, this finding has the potential to substantially influence our understanding of the function and evolution of acoustic signals.


As described in the manuscript.

Usage notes

Experiments with male and female frogs are included as seperate .csv files. The README.txt file describes the variables listed.
Only data dirrectly used in analyses published with the manuscript are included. Additional companion data may be availible upon request.