Peripheral auditory system divergence does not explain species differences in call preference

Kim L. Hoke, Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, Molly C. Womack

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Receiver sensory systems have long been cited as an important source of variation in mate preferences that could lead to signal diversification and behavioral isolation between lineages, with a general assumption that animals prefer the most conspicuous signals. The matched filter hypothesis posits that tuning of the frog peripheral auditory system matches dominant frequencies in advertisement calls used to attract mates. However, little work has characterized species with frequency modulation in their calls. In this study, we extend prior work characterizing the lack of correlated evolution between auditory tuning and spectral properties of male calls in Engystomops (=Physalaemus) frogs. We analyze auditory sensitivity of three cryptic species that differ consistently in female mate preferences for calls of different frequencies. The audiograms of these species differ, but the frequency at which the frog is maximally sensitive is not the most relevant difference in tuning of the auditory periphery. Rather, we identify species differences in overall sensitivity within specific frequency ranges, and we model the effects of these sensitivity differences on neural responses to natural calls. We find a general mismatch between auditory brainstem responses and behavioral preferences of these taxa and rule out the matched filter hypothesis as explaining species differences in male calls and mate preferences in this group.
TidsskriftBrain, Behavior and Evolution
Udgave nummer3-4
Sider (fra-til)151-166
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - jul. 2022


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