Advertisement calls of Fejervarya multistriata (Anura: Dicroglossidae), with a review of anurans in China

Vocalization plays an important role in the communication of anurans. In this study, the advertisement calls of male Fejervarya multistriata obtained in Lishui, Zhejiang, China during the breeding season were recorded. Their note number (NN), note duration (ND), note interval (NI), call duration (CD), pitch (PIT), call intensity (CIT) and dominant frequency (DF) were analyzed. The calls of F. multistriata are composed of one to 38 notes, and calls composed of fewer than ten notes have the highest frequency. Male frogs produced calls ranging from 1201 Hz to 3357 Hz with two DFs (1412.49 Hz and 2953.89 Hz). By comparing the differences among individual calls, it was found that the within-individual coefficients of variation (CVW) and among-individual coefficients of variation (CVA) for NN, NI, CD, PIT and DF were more than 10%, whereas that of CIT was less than 5%. The CVA/CVW ratios showed that ND is important for sexual selection, whereas NN, NI CD, PIT, CIT, and DF are important for individual recognition. Phylogenetic generalized least squares analysis showed that phylogenetic signals affect DF vs. snout–vent length (SVL) and CD of anurans in China, and accounting for phylogenetic signals, DF was negatively correlated with SVL. DF was found to be higher in anurans that breed in flowing water than in those that breed in stagnant water, after eliminating the effects of phylogeny and SVL. Therefore, we concluded that phylogenetic effects, SVL, and the water type of breeding habitats have a combined impact on the advertisement calls in anurans.