In the túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus, males alter calling behavior with changes in their social environment, adding ‘chucks’ to their advertisement calls in response to the calls of conspecific males. Other studies demonstrate that adding chucks increases the attractiveness of calls to females but also increases the risk of bat predation. In the current study, subcutaneous injections of the neuropeptide hormone arginine vasotocin (AVT) significantly increased chuck production in male túngara frogs. The effects of AVT on chuck production did not depend on the presence of playback stimuli, suggesting that AVT increased either the males’ general motivation to produce chucks or their responsiveness to the calls of distant males. Injections of AVT also increased the probability that males would call and decreased the latency to call after injection, supporting the hypothesis that AVT influences motivation to call. Finally, AVT inhibited a drop in call rate after the termination of a playback stimulus and increased call rate at a lower dose of AVT. The effects of AVT on chucks and call rate appear to be independent of each other, as there was no correlation between change in chuck production and change in call rate in individual males. We conclude that AVT may play an important role in socially-mediated call changes that result from competition for mates. The behavioral changes induced by AVT might increase a male’s attractiveness to females, and also may be consistent with an aggressive response to another túngara frog male.

Andersson MB (1994) Sexual Selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Berglund A, Bisazza A, Pilastro A (1996) Armaments and ornaments: an evolutionary explanation of traits of dual utility. Biol J Linn Soc 58:385–399.
Bester-Meredith JK, Martin PA, Marler CA (2005) Manipulations of vasopressin alter aggression differently across testing conditions in monogamous and non-monogamous Peromyscus mice. Aggressive Behav 31:189–199.
Boyd SK (1994) Arginine vasotocin facilitation of advertisement calling and call phonotaxis in bullfrogs. Horm Behav 28:232–240.
Boyd SK, Tyler CJ, DeVries GJ (1992) Sexual dimorphism in the vasotocin system of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). J Comp Neurol 325:313–325.
Brenowitz EA, Rose GJ (1999) Female choice and plasticity of male calling behaviour in the Pacific treefrog. Anim Behav 57:1337–1342.
Bucher TL, Ryan MJ, Bartholomew G (1982) Oxygen consumption during resting, calling, and nest building in the frog Physalaemus pustulosus. Physiol Zool 55:10–22.
Burmeister S, Somes C, Wilczynski W (2001) Behavioral and hormonal effects of exogenous vasotocin and corticosterone in the green treefrog. Gen Comp Endocrinol 122:189–197.
Chu J, Marler CA, Wilczynski W (1998) The effects of arginine vasotocin on the calling behavior of male cricket frogs in changing social contexts. Horm Behav 34:248–261.
Drewry GE, Heyer WR, Rand AS (1982) A functional analysis of the complex call of the frog Physalaemus pustulosus. Copeia 1982:636–645.
Endler JA (1993) Some general comments on the evolution and design of animal communication systems. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 340:215–225.
Fellers GM (1979) Aggression, territoriality, and mating behaviour in North American treefrogs. Anim Behav 27:107–119.
Gerhardt HC (1991) Female mate choice in treefrogs: static and dynamic acoustic criteria. Anim Behav 42:615–635.
Goodson JL, Bass AH (2001) Social behavior functions and related anatomical characteristics of vasotocin/vasopressin systems in vertebrates. Brain Res Rev 35:246–265.
Green AJ (1990) Determinants of chorus participation and the effects of size, weight, and competition on advertisement calling in the tungara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus (Leptodactylidae). Anim Behav 39:620–638.
Kime NM, Burmeister S, Ryan MJ (2004) Female preferences for socially variable call characters in the cricket frog, Acris crepitans. Anim Behav 68:1391–1399.
Klomberg KF, Marler CA (2000) The neuropeptide arginine vasotocin alters male call characteristics involved in social interactions in the grey treefrog, Hyla versicolor. Anim Behav 59:807–812.
Klump GM, Gerhardt HC (1987). Use of non-arbitrary acoustic criteria in mate choice by female gray tree frogs. Nature 326:286–288.
Leary CJ, Jessop TS, Garcia AM, Knapp R (2004) Steroid hormone profiles and relative body condition of calling and satellite toads: implications for proximate regulation of behavior in anurans. Behav Ecol 15:313–320.
Marler CA, Moore MC (1991) Energetics of aggression: Supplemental feeding compensates for testosterone-induced costs of aggression in male mountain spiny lizards (Sceloporus jarrovi). Anim Behav 42:209–219.
Marler CA, Ryan MJ (1996) Energetic constraints and steroid hormone correlates of male calling behaviour in the túngara frog. J Zool 240:397–409.
Marler CA, Bester-Meredith JK, Trainor BC (2003) Paternal behavior and aggression: endocrine mechanisms and nongenomic transmission of behavior. Adv Stud Behav 32:263–323.
Marler CA, Boyd SK, Wilczynski W (1999) Forebrain neuropeptide correlates of alternative male mating strategies. Horm Behav 36:53–61.
Marler CA, Chu J, Wilczynski W (1995) Arginine vasotocin injection increases probability of calling in cricket frogs, but causes call changes characteristic of less aggressive males. Horm Behav 29:554–570.
McGregor PK, Catchpole CK, Dabelsteen T, Falls JB, Fusani L, Gerhardt HC, Gilbert F, Horn AG, Klump GM, Kroodsma DE, Lambrechts MM, McComb KE, Nelson DA, Pepperberg IM, Ratcliffe L, Searcy WA, Weary DM (1992) Design of playback experiments: The Thornbridge Hall NATO ARW Consensus. In: Playback and Studies of Animal Communication (McGregor PK, ed), pp 1–9. New York: Plenum Press.
Moore FL, Boyd SK, Kelley DB (2005) Historical perspective: Hormonal control of behaviors in amphibians. Horm Behav 48:373–383.
Oldham RS, Gerhardt HC (1975) Behavioral isolating mechanisms of the treefrogs Hyla cinerea and H. gratiosa. Copeia 1975:223–231.
Propper CR, Dixon TB (1997) Differential effects of arginine vasotocin and gonadotropin-releasing hormone on sexual behaviors in an anuran amphibian. Horm Behav 32:99–104.
Rand AS, Ryan MJ (1981) The adaptive significance of a complex vocal repertoire in a neotropical frog. Z Tierpsychol 57:209–214.
Rose JD, Moore FL (2002) Behavioral neuroendocrinology of vasotocin and vasopressin and the sensorimotor processing hypothesis. Front Neuroendocrinol 23:317–341.
Ryan MJ (1985) The Túngara Frog: A Study in Sexual Selection and Communication. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ryan MJ (1988) Energy, calling, and selection. Am Zool 28:885–898.
Ryan MJ, Keddy-Hector A (1992) Directional patterns of female mate choice and the role of sensory biases. Am Nat 139:S4–S35.
Ryan MJ, Kime NM (2003) Selection on long distance acoustic signals. In: Springer Handbook of Auditory Research; Acoustic Communication (Simmons A, Fay RR, Popper A, eds), pp 225–274. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Ryan MJ, Rand AS (1999) Phylogenetic influences on mating call preferences in female tungara frogs (Physalaemus pustulosus). Anim Behav 57:945–956.
Ryan MJ, Fox JH, Wilczynski W, Rand AS (1990) Sexual selection for sensory exploitation in the frog Physalaemus pustulosus. Nature 343:66–67.
Ryan MJ, Tuttle MD, Rand AS (1982) Sexual advertisement and bat predation in a neo-tropical frog. Am Nat 119:136–139.
Schwartz JJ, Buchanan BW, Gerhardt HC (2001) Female mate choice in the gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) in three experimental environments. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 49:443–455.
Semsar K, Kandel FLM, Godwin J (2001) Manipulations of the AVT system shift social status and related courtship and aggressive behavior in the bluehead wrasse. Horm Behav 40:21–31.
Semsar K, Klomberg KF, Marler CA (1998) Arginine vasotocin and calling behavior and call site retention in frogs. Anim Behav 56:983–987.
Tarano Z, Herrera EA (2003) Female preferences for call traits and male mating success in the neotropical frog Physalaemus enesefae. Ethology 109:121–134.
Ten Eyck GR (2005) Arginine vasotocin activates advertisement calling and movement in the territorial Puerto Rican frog, Eleutherodactylus coqui. Horm Behav 47:223–229.
Tito MB, Hoover MA, Mingo AM, Boyd SK (1999) Vasotocin maintains multiple call types in the gray treefrog, Hyla versicolor. Horm Behav 36:166–175.
Trainor BC, Rouse KL, Marler CA (2003) Arginine vasotocin interacts with the social environment to regulate advertisement calling in the gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor). Brain Behav Evol 61:165–171.
Tuttle MD, Taft LK, Ryan MJ (1982) Evasive behaviour of a frog in response to bat predation. Anim Behav 30:393–397.
Wells KD (1988) The effect of social interactions on anuran vocal behavior. In: The Evolution of the Amphibian Auditory System (Fritzsch B, Ryan MJ, Wilczynski W, Hetherington TE, Walkowiak W, eds), pp 433–455. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Wilczynski W, Lynch KS, O’Bryant EL (2005) Current research in amphibians: Studies integrating endocrinology, behavior, and neurobiology. Horm Behav 48:440–450.
Wilczynski W, Rand AS, Ryan MJ (2001) Evolution of calls and auditory tuning in the Physalaemus pustulosus species group. Brain Behav Evol 58:137–151.
Wingfield J, Lynn SE, Soma KK (2001) Avoiding the ‘costs’ of testosterone: Ecological bases of hormone-behavior interactions. Brain Behav Evol 57:239–251.
Yamaguchi A, Kelley DB (2003) Hormonal mechanisms in acoustic communication. In: Acoustic Communication (Fay RR, ed), pp 275–323. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.