Brief Communications

Nature 420, 475 (5 December 2002) | doi:10.1038/420475a

Animal communication: Tree-hole frogs exploit resonance effects

Björn Lardner1 & Maklarin bin Lakim2

Animal mating calls that exert a comparatively high sound pressure propagate over greater distances and generally have greater attractive power1, 2. Here we show that calling male Bornean tree-hole frogs (Metaphrynella sundana) actively exploit the acoustic properties of cavities in tree trunks that are partially filled with water and which are primarily used as egg-deposition sites. By tuning their vocalizations to the resonant frequency of the hole, which varies with the amount of water that it contains, these frogs enhance their chances of attracting females.

  1. Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois 60605, USA
  2. Research and Education Division, Sabah Parks, PO Box 10626, 88806 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Correspondence to: Björn Lardner1 e-mail: Email: bjorn.lardner@zooekol.lu.se