Reproductive stage and history affect the phonotactic preferences of female midwife toads, Alytes muletensis

Lea, Jeremy; Halliday, Tim and Dyson, Miranda (2000). Reproductive stage and history affect the phonotactic preferences of female midwife toads, Alytes muletensis. Animal Behaviour, 60(4) pp. 423–427.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2000.1482

Abstract

We investigated whether the reproductive stage or reproductive history of females affects their preferences for male calls that differ in frequency. We repeatedly tested gravid female midwife toads prior to and immediately after mating, and during ovulation. When females were ovulating they were much more consistent in their choice of call than when they were gravid but not ovulating. When females had recently mated they still showed positive phonotaxis, but did not reliably discriminate between alternative calls. This study is the first to test gravid female anurans repeatedly at different stages in their reproductive cycle (ovulating or not; pre- and postmating). It highlights the need to treat with caution the results from population-based preference studies in which individuals are tested only once, and in which variation in reproductive state is not taken into account.

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