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Advertisement call of the closely related species Scinax aromothyella Faivovich 2005 and S. berthae (Barrio 1962), with comments on the complex calls in the S. catharinae group

Authors:
  • Instituto de Biología Subtropical (IBS, CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Misiones (UNaM) Argentina
  • Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Montevideo

Abstract and Figures

We compare the advertisement calls of Scinax aromothyella and S. berthae, two closely related Neotropical hylid frogs of the S. catharinae group. We studied several individuals from different localities in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The call parameters analyzed did not allow the discrimination between the two species. Like in other species of the S. catharinae group, the advertisement calls are complex, consisting of short notes with overlapping pulses; an additional trilled note is frequently present, interspersed between the short ones. This complex call structure is common in the S. catharinae group, whereas it is only exceptionally reported in other taxa of the S. perpusillus group and the S. ruber clade. The advertisement call in this group is a candidate target for future studies addressing social and environmental factors affecting call structure.
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133
Advertisement call of the closely related species Scinax
aromothyella Faivovich 2005 and S. berthae (Barrio 1962), with
comments on the complex calls in the S. catharinae group
Martín O. Pereyra1, Claudio Borteiro2, Diego Baldo3,4, Francisco Kolenc2 & Carlos E. Conte5
1
CONICET. División Herpetología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘‘Bernardino Rivadavia’’, Ángel Gallardo 470 (1405), Buenos
Aires, Argentina
2
Sección Herpetología, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, 25 de Mayo 582, Montevideo, Uruguay
3
Laboratorio de Genética Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Químicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Misiones, Félix de
Azara 1552 (3300), Posadas, Misiones, Argentina
4
Instituto de Herpetología, Fundación Miguel Lillo, Miguel Lillo 251 (4000), San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán, Argentina
5
Professor-pesquisador da Universidade Federal do Paraná, bolsista do Programa PRODOC/CAPES . Programa de Pós-Graduação em
Zoologia, Departamento de Zoologia. Centro Politécnico, Caixa Postal 19020, 81531-980 Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. SP, Brazil
HERPETOLOGICAL JOURNAL 22: 133137, 2012
Correspondence: Martín O. Pereyra, División Herpetología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘‘Bernardino Rivadavia’’,
Ángel Gallardo 470 (1405), Buenos Aires, Argentina; E-mail: mopereyra@gmail.com
INTRODUCTION
Scinax aromothyella and S. berthae are closely related
taxa of the S. catharinae species group (Faivovich,
2005). Although this group is mainly associated to
the Atlantic Rain Forest biome (Faivovich, 2002),
both species extend their ranges southwards, reaching
temperate areas of Uruguay and central-eastern Argentina
(Kolenc et al., 2007). Scinax aromothyella has less
developed toe webbing, more robust forearms and larger
adults than S. berthae (Faivovich, 2005). The tadpoles
of both species develop in lentic water, with those of S.
aromothyella being larger at equivalent developmental
stages (de Sá et al., 1997; Kolenc et al., 2007). Both
morphological (Faivovich, 2002; 2005) and molecular
information (J. Faivovich personal communication)
support a sister relationship between S. aromothyella
and S. berthae. The former is distributed in the Atlantic
Rain Forest in Brazil and northeastern Argentina and
also in hilly formations of eastern Uruguay, whereas
the latter can be found inhabiting coastal and riparian
plains from São Paulo in south-eastern Brazil to central-
eastern Argentina and coastal Uruguay (Barrio, 1964;
Faivovich, 2005; Borteiro et al., 2007; Kolenc et al.,
2007; Hartmann et al., 2008; Lucas & Fortes, 2008).
Besides distributional records, little additional data about
natural history are available for both species (Barrio,
1962; Faivovich, 2005; Kolenc et al., 2007). In this study
we investigated and compared the advertisement calls
of these closely related and allopatric frogs, recorded at
several localities throughout their distributional ranges.
We compare the advertisement calls of Scinax aromothyella and S. berthae, two closely related Neotropical hylid frogs of
the S. catharinae group. We studied several individuals from different localities in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The call
parameters analyzed did not allow the discrimination between the two species. Like in other species of the S. catharinae
group, the advertisement calls are complex, consisting of short notes with overlapping pulses; an additional trilled note is
frequently present, interspersed between the short ones. This complex call structure is common in the S. catharinae group,
whereas it is only exceptionally reported in other taxa of the S. perpusillus group and the S. ruber clade. The advertisement
call in this group is a candidate target for future studies addressing social and environmental factors affecting call structure.
Key words: behaviour, bioacoustics, complex calls, Scinax
Fig. 1. Map showing the localities of the recorded
specimens. White dots: Scinax aromothyella; Black
dots: S. berthae.
134
M.O. Pereyra et al.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We analyzed 44 advertisement calls obtained from eight
males of Scinax aromothyella and 17 males of S. berthae,
recorded at several localities in Argentina, Brazil and
Uruguay (Fig. 1; Table 1). Calls were recorded with the
following tape recorders/microphones: Sony WMD6C/
Sennheiser LR 6, Marantz PMD 222/Sennheiser ME 66,
and Sony TCM 5000/Shure. Recordings were analyzed
employing Sound Forge 5.0 software, with a FFT of 512
points, at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz and 16-bit precision.
The following temporal parameters were measured from
the waveform: call duration, number of notes per call,
note duration, number of pulses per note, pulse duration
and internote interval. Mean power spectra of the selected
notes were obtained with a FFT of 512 points, overlap
93%, Hamming’s sampling window and spectrogram
resolution of 10,000 samplings. The frequency bands and
dominant frequencies were obtained from spectrograms.
The note rate (notes per second) and the pulse rate
(pulses per second) were calculated. Terminology for
advertisement call descriptions follow Heyer et al. (1990).
We analyzed one to six calls for each individual studied.
Additionally, we included in the analyses the recordings
of S. berthae available from Straneck et al. (1993).
Specimens collected for the present study are deposited
in the following institutions: DZSJRP (Coleção Cientíca
de Anfíbios do Departamento de Zoologia e Botânica da
Universidade Estadual Paulista; UNESP, São José do
Rio Preto, São Paulo, Brazil); MLP DB (Diego Baldo
Collection, deposited at Museo de La Plata); MNHN
(Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, Montevideo,
Uruguay); and ZVCB (Colección de Batracios,
Departamento Zoología Vertebrados, Facultad de Ciencias,
Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay)
Acronym Site location Coordinates A/W T [ºC]
S. aromothyella
MLP DB 5067 Arroyo Cuña Pirú, Misiones, AR 27 06S 54 58W 15/16.5
NV Arroyo Cuña Pirú, Misiones, AR 27 06S 54 58W 15/16.5
NV Arroyo Cuña Pirú, Misiones, AR 27 06S 54 58W 15/16
NV Santa Rita, Misiones, AR 27 29S 54 56W 20/–
DZSJRP 13359 Guaraupava, Paraná, BR 25 24S 51 27W 15/–
DZSJRP 13398 São José dos Pinhais, Paraná, BR 25 39S 49 05W 14/–
DZSJRP 13082 General Carneiro, Paraná, BR 26 25S 51 19W 15/–
ZVCB 14563 Quebrada de los Cuervos, Treinta y Tres, UY 32 52S 54 28W 15/17
S. berthae
NV (*) P. N. El Palmar, Entre Ríos, AR 31 50S 58 15W –/–
MLP DB 1907 Villa Lanús, Misiones, AR 27 26S 55 54W 20/–
NV Posadas, Misiones, AR 27 22S 55 53W –/–
MLP DB 3929 Gobernador Virasoro, Corrientes, AR 28 00S 56 01W 20.5/–
MLP DB 5748 Reserva Santa María, Corrientes, AR 27 31S 56 36W 15/16
NV Ribeirão Claro, Paraná, BR 23 11S 49 45W 18/–
MNHN 9426 Playa Penino, San José, UY 34 46S 56 24W 15/17
NV Near Arroyo Pavón, San José, UY 34 29S 57 03W21/21
NV Near Arroyo Pavón, San José, UY 34 29S 57 03W 21/21
Fig. 2. Oscillogram and spectrogram of a call fragment of (A) Scinax aromothyella, and (B) S. berthae
Table 1. Call recording details for Scinax aromothyella and S. berthae. Abbreviations used: A/W T, Air/Water
temperature; NV, unvouchered specimen; AR, Argentina; BR, Brazil; UY, Uruguay. (*) Recording from Straneck et
al. (1993)
135
Calls of Scinax catharinae group
RESULTS
The advertisement calls of Scinax aromothyella and
S. berthae (Figs. 2 and 3) are complex, and similar in
structure, spectral and acoustic parameters. The call of
both species lasts from a few to several seconds and
consists of two kinds of notes. The most frequent type is
a short one, composed mainly of superposed pulses, and
is usually clustered in groups. The other type of note is
longer, and composed of discrete pulses; it resembles a
short trill and is irregularly emitted. Both types of notes
present similar spectral structure, a wide frequency band
that clearly peaks at the dominant frequency, amplitude
modulation and no noticeable harmonics. The calls of
both species are composed of either a series of identical
short notes or, more frequently, a combination of short
and long notes. In the last case, trills are always anked
by groups of short notes. Trills present slight frequency
modulation: they have a dominant frequency similar
to that of the short notes until close to their end, in
which their dominant frequency increases. The calls of
one specimen of S. aromothyella (ZVCB 14563) and
two S. berthae (MLP DB 5748 and an unvouchered
specimen from Posadas, Misiones, Argentina) were
exclusively composed of long series of short notes. Data
of studied advertisement calls are detailed in Table 2.
DISCUSSION
The advertisement calls of Scinax aromothyella and S.
berthae, although complex, are very alike, and the studied
acoustic parameters do not allow the unambiguous
differentiation between these two closely related species.
No signicant differences were noticed when compared
with the call of S. berthae described by Barrio (1962),
except for the fact that the harmonics reported by him
were not evident in our spectrograms (Figs. 2 and 3).
Call duration is usually longer in S. berthae than in S.
aromothyella but this parameter greatly varies from
one individual to another due to the social context and
other environmental stimuli (Bosch & de la Riva, 2004;
Wells, 2007). As in our case, the lack of divergence in
the advertisement calls of closely related anuran species
has previously been found associated to allopatric
distributions (Duellman & Pyles 1983; Cocroft et al.,
1990; Kwet et al., 2005).
High call diversity was previously reported for species
of the S. catharinae group, which produce simple calls
composed by discrete or superposed pulses, and complex
calls with at least two note types, consisting of superposed,
discrete or isolated pulses. The complex advertisement
calls of S. aromothyella and S. berthae are consistent with
these reports, with the described calls resembling those
of S. argyreornatus (Bokermann, 1964; Pombal et al.,
1995), S. heyeri (Peixoto & Weigoldt, 1987), and S. ranki
(Andrade & Cardoso, 1991). Isolated notes composed
by one or few pulses can also be present in S. hiemalis
(Haddad & Pombal, 1987) and S. ranki (Andrade &
Cardoso, 1987; 1991). These complex advertisement
calls with distinct primary and secondary notes have
been reported in several species of other anuran taxa and
can play a dual role, conveying an aggressive message
to males with one type of note while attracting females
with the other (Narins & Capranica, 1978; Backwell,
1988; Larson, 2004). This can be the reason for the
different patterns of note combinations observed in S.
aromothyella and S. berthae. Similar observations were
made in other species of the S. catharinae group (Barrio
1962; Cardoso & Haddad, 1982; Haddad & Pombal,
1987; Peixoto & Weygoldt, 1987; Andrade & Cardoso,
1987, 1991; Pombal et al., 1995; Nunes et al., 2007),
whereas distinct types of vocalizations to attract females
and to defend calling sites against conspecifics were
reported in two species of this group [S. centralis (Bastos
et al., 2011) and S. rizibilis (Bastos & Haddad, 2002)].
Within the genus Scinax, there are further cases of
allopatric species pairs with similar advertisement calls:
Scinax granulatus/S. perereca (Kwet, 2001); S. auratus/S.
crospedospilus (Bevier et al., 2008); S. boulengeri/S.
garbei/S. nebulosus (Duellman & Pyles, 1983); and S.
Fig. 3. Oscillogram and spectrogram of the two different notes of the advertisement call emitted by (A) Scinax
aromothyella, and (B) S. berthae
136
M.O. Pereyra et al.
pinima/S. uruguayus (Kolenc et al., 2003). A thorough
phylogenetic hyphotesis of Scinax would allow to interpret
the signicance in advertisement call similarity and the
evolution of call patterns in this genus. The advertisement
call variation in species of the S. catharinae group is
a candidate target for studies addressing social and
environmental factors that affect call structure. Controlled
playback experiments would help to investigate the
possible functions of single and trilled notes in this group.
The lack of a clear understanding of their role and the
complexity of the calls presently hamper the use of these
acoustic signals in taxonomic and phylogenetic studies.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We thank D. Cardozo, L. Cotichelli and C. Prigioni for their
assistance during eldwork and R. Maneyro (ZVCB). We
are grateful to J. Faivovich and two anonymous reviewers
for their valuable suggestions. Thanks to C. Taboada and
P. Iglesias for their assistance with the English. MOP
acknowledge to Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones
Cientícas y Técnicas (CONICET). MOP and DB are
grateful to ANPCyT PICT 06–0223. DB acknowledges
CONICET PIP 1112008010 2422, ANPCyT PICTs 07–
01485 and 07–2202, and PICT-O 37035 for funding. CB
and FK received support from ANII/SNI and EC from
PRODOC/CAPES.
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Table 2. Acoustic parameters of analyzed calls of Scinax aromothyella and S. berthae. * Values considering both
types of notes. Data are given as mean±SD (interval)
Variables S. aromothyella S. berthae
short note trilled note short note trilled note
Frequency Band [Hz] 1477–8777 1513–9109 2235–7727 2275–7289
Dominant Freq [Hz] 5127±298
(4769–5414)
5068±311
(4842–5534)
4886±285
(4477–5285)
4917±275
(4410–5361)
Call duration [s] 4.49±2.41
(1.04–20.76)*
22.21±19.23
(3.2–52.04)*
Notes/call 11.09±12.37
(2-74)
0.68±0.60
(0-3)
87.67±155.60
(4-620)
7.87±14.74
(0-52)
Note duration [s] 0.11±0.05
(0.04–0.22)
0.42±0.17
(0.30–0.61)
0.07±0.02
(0.03–0.14)
0.39±0.06
(0.13–0.59)
Note rate [notes/s] 1.97±1.25
(1.02–4.36)
0.12±0.13
(0–0.37)
3.87±2.86
(1.18–9.35)
0.34±0.33
(0–0.86)
Pulse/note 29.36±11.00
(18-49)
74.57±20.17
(33–102)
21.62±5.58
(12-39)
62±3.54
(40–88)
Pulse duration [s] 0.003±0.001
(0.001-0.005)
0.004±0.002 (0.002-
0.006)
0.003±0.001
(0.002-0.005)
0.005±0.002 (0.002-
0.007)
Pulse rate [pulses/s] 332.18±61.77
(220.72-420.10)
173.3±31.9
(137.3–216.8)
315.07±42.48
(262.71-421.53)
142.3±57.4
(101.4–225.6)
Internote interval [s] 0.20±0.09
(0.05–0.48)*
0.18±0.04
(0.06–0.60)*
137
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Accepted: 26 November 2011
Calls of Scinax catharinae group
... The call duration of other species ranges from 0.08 s in S. luizotavioi (0.08-0.54 seconds) (Lourenço et al. 2009) to 52.04 s in S. berthae (3.2–52.04 seconds) (Pereyra et al. 2012) ...
... kHz) (Nunes et al. 2007), S. argyreornatus (5.0-6.5 kHz) (Pombal et al. 1995), S. aromothyella (4.76-5.53 kHz) (Pereyra et al. 2012), S. berthae (4.41-5.36 kHz) (Pereyra et al. 2012), S. centralis (3.20-4.89 ...
... kHz) (Pereyra et al. 2012), S. berthae (4.41-5.36 kHz) (Pereyra et al. 2012), S. centralis (3.20-4.89 kHz) (Pombal & Bastos, 1996; Bastos et al. 2011), and S. ...
... Given differences in acoustic data that can be attributed to factors such as recording devices or different analyzed traits, some authors have within Ololygon (Lourenço et al. 2009, Pombal et al. 2010). However, a few authors have compared their call descriptions to those of O. hiemalis (e.g., Garey et al. 2012, Pereyra et al. 2012. None of these authors had access to the call Type A (advertisement) of O. hiemalis; thus, when making call comparisons, they considered only long squawk-like and click-like notes, instead of the call type A. Given this, we relation to O. hiemalis (Table 3). ...
... Many species of Ololygon have complex vocalizations that are associated with different behaviors Haddad 2002, Bastos et al. 2011). As in the three species considered here, their vocal repertoires consist of at least two types of signals, which can be emitted in complex organizations (Pereyra et al. 2012, Hepp et al. 2017. All signal types reported here are similar to those described for other species of the genus (Bastos and Haddad 2002, Bastos et al. 2011, Hepp et al. 2017, especially the call comparisons and thus, assumed to operate as an advertisement call. ...
... All signal types reported here are similar to those described for other species of the genus (Bastos and Haddad 2002, Bastos et al. 2011, Hepp et al. 2017, especially the call comparisons and thus, assumed to operate as an advertisement call. The long squawk-like and click-like notes in the three species studied here most likely convey aggressive messages; these can be broadcast alone, associated with one another, or both associated with a call Type A. These patterns may have dual function in vocalization; thus males can emit aggressive signals to other males and mating signals to females in a single calling effort (Narins and Capranica 1978, Larson 2004, Pereyra et al. 2012. ...
Article
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The vocalizations of Ololygon hiemalis, O. ranki, and O. canastrensis are redescribed to provide further details on their complex vocal repertoires. The acoustic diagnosis of O. hiemalis is updated in relation to congeners, especially with respect to the morphologically similar O. ranki, for which we also evaluate the morphological diagnosis of both species. Three distinct types of notes are recognized in the vocalization of the three species (short squawk-like, long squawk-like and click-like), which are emitted in distinct acoustic organizations. The main organization of the three species is herein referred as the call Type “A”, each of which has a multi-note structure composed of a series of short squawk-like notes with note-by-note increase in amplitude along call duration. The call Type A of O. hiemalis was not described in the species original description. That of topotypes of O. ranki structurally resembles the call described in the original species description. Likewise, The call Type A of O. canastrensis matches that described in the original species description. Although O. hiemalis and O. ranki are phenotypically indistinguishable, there are quantitative differences in some call traits. Many species of Ololygon have complex vocalizations consisting of, at least, two types of notes, which can be emitted in different combinations. Despite the complexity of acoustic emissions, the call Type A of many species seems to be phylogenetically conserved. Because calls sometimes are only briefly described, we emphasize the need for, and importance of, comprehensive characterizations of anuran vocalizations to support future acoustic comparisons
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The 2 major functions of the call (mate attraction and male-male communication) are clearly partitioned. -from Author