Calling and associated behaviour of some species of Pseudophryne (Anura: Leptodactylidae)



Males of three species of Pseudophryne (Anura: Leptodactylidae) produce a number of kinds of calls during the calling season. Six call types were recorded in P. corroboree and five in both P. dendyi and P. bibroni. All calls except a non-pulsate threat call are structurally related to the mating call of P. corroboree. The courtship call of this species is essentially a mating call with the addition of three to four similar components. The mating calls of P. dendyi and P. bibroni are essentially shortened versions of the mating call of P. corroboree. The threat calls of all species are very similar structurally and are modifications of one component of the mating call. The auditory premating isolating mechanism in these species is probably the courtship call. Other factors such as differences in colour and time of breeding are probably important in enhancing specific distinctiveness.

Diel calling activity of P. corroboree males appears to be primarily dependent on changing light intensities and secondarily on temperature changes. There is also a longer term cycle which is probably dependent on hormonal factors.

Males of all species are territorial. The territory is the calling site (the burrow) and is only weakly defended in some species. A non-phylogenetic series based on increasing degree of aggressiveness follows: P. corroboree (Snowy Mountains), P. corroboree (Fiery and Brinda-bella Ranges), P. dendyi and P. bibroni.