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J Comp Physiol A. 1997 May;180(5):451-62.

Sexual dimorphism and species differences in the neurophysiology and morphology of the acoustic communication system of two neotropical hylids.

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Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin 78712, USA.


We examined auditory tuning and the morphology of the anatomical structures underlying acoustic communication in female Hyla microcephala and H. ebraccata and compared our findings to data from a previous study (Wilczynski et al. 1993) in which we showed species differences in the traits that in males relate to differences in the species-typical calls. Female species differences in the best excitatory frequency (BEF) of the basilar papilla (BP) were similar to the differences seen in males, and females had a significantly lower BEF in H. ebraccata, but not H. microcephala. In both species, females had lower BP thresholds. Snout-vent length, head width, and tympanic membrane diameters were sexually dimorphic in both species and larger in females, whereas laryngeal components were sexually dimorphic and larger in males. Middle and inner ear volumes were not sexually dimorphic. Despite the significant species differences in laryngeal morphology seen in males, female larynges are not significantly different. Furthermore, the interaction of species and sex differences resulted in significantly different degrees of sex dimorphism in the species, particularly for the larynx, which is more sexually dimorphic in H. microcephala, and measures of body size, which are more dimorphic in H. ebraccata.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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