Serenading Ribbits

They say love is a mixtape… of frog songs?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down On Science. 

We’ve all done crazy things for love, but joining a boy band?! Frogs do something similar during mating season. But if everyone’s doing it… who gets the most groupies?

Enter Ryan Calsbeek, from Dartmouth University, and colleagues. They wondered which FROGGY choruses were the biggest hits. 

Researchers collected recordings of frogs in the wild and created fake froggie boy bands. Different recordings were overlaid to see which mating call combinations attracted female frogs most. Some bands had matching high or low pitch mating calls, while others had a mix.

Turns out the hottest mix in the pond… the bands that sent the female frogs chasing after them like Beatles fans… were– WAIT FOR IT – “those with the most uniform sound”. Holding deep bass lines as a chorus resulted in the most mating success.

Maybe the frogs are onto something! Time to get the band together. Show’s at the log… afterparty at my lilypad! BYO Brine? Ribbit!

Reference: Calsbeek, R., Zamora‐Camacho, F. J., & Symes, L. B. (2022). Individual contributions to group chorus dynamics influence access to mating opportunities in wood frogs. Ecology Letters, 25(6), 1401–1409.