Frog Lab

Allobates femoralis  and the Femoralis Project

FWF P25612 "The role of the vocal sac in multimodal signaling"


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. 

Photos: Iris Starnberger

top left: H. cinnamomeoventris 

right: H. kivuensis                     

bottom left: H. viridiflavus          

right: H. lateralis

Photos: Iris Starnberger

Photos: Iris Starnberger