• animal communication;
  • divergence;
  • mate choice;
  • mating calls;
  • Physalaemus;
  • sexual selection;
  • species recognition;
  • túngara frogs


We examine acoustic mating preferences of a focal population at four different scales of divergence: within the population, between populations in the same genetic group, between populations in different genetic groups and between different species. At all scales there is substantial genetic divergence, variation in mating signals and preferences are influenced by signal variation. There is, however, no support for the hypothesis that mating preferences accumulate predictably with genetic distance. Females preferred the local conspecific call to the foreign conspecific call in about one-third of the experiments, and preferred the local call to all of the heterospecific calls tested. But there was no significant relationship between the variation in the strength of preference and genetic distance either among conspecific populations, or among heterospecific species. Thus, in this study macroevolutionary patterns are not apparent at the microevolutionary scale.