Anuran vocalizations, such as advertisement and release calls, are informative for taxonomy because species recognition can be based on those signals. Thus, a proper acoustic description of the calls may support taxonomic decisions and may contribute to knowledge about amphibian phylogeny.
Here we present a perspective on advertisement call descriptions of the frog subfamily Lophyohylinae, through a literature review and a spatial analysis presenting bioacoustic coldspots (sites with high diversity of species lacking advertisement call descriptions) for this taxonomic group. Additionally, we describe the advertisement and release calls of the still poorly known treefrog, Itapotihyla langsdorffii. We analyzed recordings of six males using the software Raven Pro 1.4 and calculated the coefficient of variation for classifying static and dynamic acoustic properties.
We found that more than half of the species within the subfamily do not have their vocalizations described yet. Most of these species are distributed in the western and northern Amazon, where recording sampling effort should be strengthened in order to fill these gaps. The advertisement call of I. langsdorffii is composed of 3–18 short unpulsed notes (mean of 13 ms long), presents harmonic structure, and has a peak dominant frequency of about 1.4 kHz. This call usually presents amplitude modulation, with decreasing intensity along the sequence of notes. The release call is a simple unpulsed note with an average duration of 9 ms, and peak dominant frequency around 1.8 kHz. Temporal properties presented higher variations than spectral properties at both intra- and inter-individual levels. However, only peak dominant frequency was static at intra-individual level. High variability in temporal properties and lower variations related to spectral ones is usual for anurans; The first set of variables is determined by social environment or temperature, while the second is usually related to species-recognition process. Here we review and expand the acoustic knowledge of the subfamily Lophyohylinae, highlighting areas and species for future research.