We investigated the temporal dynamics of acoustically interacting common tink frogs (Diasporus diastema), a species in which advertising males maintain large inter-individual distances that may influence call timing behaviours among nearest neighbours. This species produces advertisement calls in temporally structured bouts, with decreasing inter-note intervals that culminate in a ‘burst’ sequence of rapidly emitted notes. We broadcast playbacks of unaltered and temporally manipulated conspecific advertisement calls to focal male individuals vocalizing within triads (comprised of closely neighbouring focal and non-focal males and a more distant, outsider male). Focal males demonstrated rhythmic entrainment and adjusted their calling behaviour to overlap their call sequences with those of their nearest vocalizing neighbour, including the unaltered conspecific playback. When presented with a playback of conspecific calls lacking the natural temporal sequence, focal males reduced the duration of the silent interval between call bouts and reduced the number of notes in the burst phase of their call bout, indicating the significance of the multi-element temporally complex call bout structure in mediating male–male vocal interactions.
Amphibian, acoustic communication, call timing, signal adjustment, audio playback