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Female choice and male-male competition are affected by noise-filled calls in a treefrog


Cui, Jianguo (2022), Female choice and male-male competition are affected by noise-filled calls in a treefrog, Dryad, Dataset,


Both human and non-human animals communicating acoustically face the problem of noise interference, especially anurans during mating activities. Previous studies focused on the effect of continuous noise on signal recognition, but it is still unknown whether different notes in advertisement calls filled by noise affect female choice and male-male competition or not. In this study, we tested female preferences and male evoked vocal responses in serrate-legged small treefrog (Kurixalus odontotarsus), by broadcasting the five-note advertisement call and the advertisement call with the second, third or fourth note filled by noise respectively. In phonotaxis experiments, females significantly discriminated against the advertisement call with the fourth note filled by noise, although they did not discriminate against other two noise-filled calls, which indicates that the effect of noise on female preference is related to the order of filled notes in the advertisement call. In playback experiments, males increased the total number of notes and notes/call in response to noise-filled calls compared with spontaneous calls. More interesting, the vocal responses evoked by noise-filled calls were similar to those evoked by complete advertisement calls, suggesting that males may recognize the noise-filled calls as complete advertisement calls. Taken together, our study shows that different notes in advertisement calls filled by noise have different effects on female choice and male-male competition.