Undeniably, acoustic signals are the predominant mode of communication in frogs and toads. However, additional or alternative signal modalities have gained increasing attention. My current research aims to investigate the function of the colourfull patch found on the throats of male reed frogs (Hyperolius spp.). So far, I could show, that the patch is a gland producing volatile species-specific scent bouquets. Furthermore, the coloration of vocal sac and gular patch might be species specific and may serve as a visual signal component in calling males. Thus, I am now studying the possible of integration of acoustic, visual and chemical cues in species recognition and mate choice.
I integrate histology, biochemical analysis, spectrophotometry and behavioural experiments in the field (Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda) and in the lab in Vienna to investigate signal modalities and their role in intra- and intersexual communication.
top left: H. cinnamomeoventris
right: H. kivuensis
bottom left: H. viridiflavus
right: H. lateralis