Parental distress call: a previously unreported defensive call in female Leptodactylus latrans (Anura, Leptodactylidae)

Guilherme Alexandre Sestito, Diego José Santana, Adrian Antonio Garda, David Lucas Röhr


The parental care in anurans is a behavior incipient studied, and despite the few records available, the anurans present a variety parental care behavior. Some of them consist of aggressive behaviors, when one or both parents protect they offspring. The behaviors in which involves vocalizations are much more common among the amphibians, and are frequently emitted by males, during the breeding season for reproductive means. Herein we describe a distress call of Leptodactylus latrans emitted during a different context as it usually is registered. In two occasions with the records we have made, females of L. latrans were protecting their tadpoles mass jumping towards the intruders while trying to bite and emitting distress call. This display suggests the existence of a new category of distress call, expressed during a parental care context, which diverges from the functions of anuran distress call reported up to date. Due to the context in which this behavior was exhibited, we classify this vocalization as parental distress call.

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