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Tuesday, March 31 • 10:50am - 11:05am
Madison E. Kucinick: Investigating Behavioral Divergence and Hybridization in Florida Treefrogs

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Behavioral isolation is a major barrier to hybridization among sympatric species. In anuran mating systems, the principal isolating mechanisms are acoustic signals (used in species recognition) and preferential breeding habitat. The treefrogs Hyla andersonii and Hyla cinerea are known to be behaviorally isolated, having different preferential breeding habitats, although their acoustic signals are very similar. Therefore, while their ranges overlap (i.e. sympatric), they typically do not occur in the same breeding localities (i.e. allotopic). In regions of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, however, males of both species call for mates from the same locality (i.e. syntopic), resulting in hybrid individuals with intermediate calls and physical characteristics. This study characterizes the calls from two allotopic localities of each species and calls from one syntopic locality to determine whether intraspecific acoustic variation occurs between the two locality types. 10 calls per species for each locality type (allotopic and syntopic) were recorded in the field and analyzed using Raven Pro 1.4 (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) and JMP Pro 10 (SAS Institute, Inc.). Among the 12 call variables analyzed, H. cinerea was found to be significantly diverging in two variables, including call duration and high frequency peak. H. andersonii was not found to be diverging in any call characteristics between localities. Our results suggest that reproductive character displacement is occurring in H. cinerea, and may lead to stronger behavioral isolation where other barriers (i.e. habitat isolation) have broken down.


Tuesday March 31, 2015 10:50am - 11:05am EDT
Civic Center - Meeting Room A-1 - Ground Floor 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301