Female choice in anurans is usually affected by the characteristics of the conspecific advertisement call. Mating preferences of Eleutherodactylus johnstonei females were tested in two-choice experiments in relation to variation of call duration, dominant frequency and call period. Preferences were tested for variants above and below the population mean. Females showed directional preferences for long calls (always preferred the longest call available), and slightly directional preferences for short periods (preferred short over long periods but did not discriminate between short and mean periods). These results altogether indicated a preference for high calling efforts which was corroborated in an additional experiment testing preferences for short calls repeated at short periods (duty cycle: 0.32) over long calls repeated at long periods (duty cycle: 0.19). Preferences for high calling efforts may relate to male quality in territory defense and/or brood care (developing embryos). Females did not prefer calls based on the dominant frequency. This lack of preference may relate to a weak association between male size and call frequency. Female preferences in E. johnstonei partly match those of the congener E. coqui.
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