Most reports of anuran visual displays (especially those involving extension of the back legs) are of tropical species living within noisy habitats. Here, we provide a descriptive report of visual displays involving back leg extension in a temperate anuran, Blanchard's cricket frog (Acris blanchardi). We observed male cricket frogs engaging in bouts of display, lasting an average of 2.9 min and incorporating both visual and acoustic signals. In a typical display bout, frogs near each other began circling (during a chorus at the pond) within a small area while extending their back legs and occasionally vocalizing. Rarely, the frogs would attack one another by hopping onto, then off, an opponent. Bouts ended when individuals stopped displaying while remaining near each other. The most common behaviors observed during a display bout, in order of decreasing frequency, were leg extensions, direction changes, forward movements, and vocalizations. These observations increase prospects for the study of evolution of visual displays in anurans occupying relatively open, quiet habitats.
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Vol. 59 • No. 3