Date of Award

May 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Gerlinde Höbel

Committee Members

Erik Wild, Peter Dunn, Anj Petto


Condition, Hyla Versicolor, Preference Function


Understanding the mechanisms driving female mate choice is critical to developing a holistic framework from which to assess effects and outcomes of sexual selection. I investigated the effects of female quality (measured as size, body condition and fecundity) on preferences for call traits that indicate either male quality (call duration) or species specificity (call pulse rate). I document large variation in both quality and call trait preferences of individual female Gray treefrogs, and show that preferences are influenced by female quality. Contrary to previous studies, however, I found that intermediate quality females show the strongest preferences, while low and high quality females show similar, and weaker, preferences. Further, preferences for male quality were influenced by more quality measures than preferences for species specificity, suggesting that species recognition is somewhat more immune to quality effects than choice for conspecific mate quality.

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