chapter  7
8 Pages

Harleys through Downtown Milwaukee

ByMichael J. Lannoo, Rochelle M. Stiles

In this chapter, the authors aim to experience on four occasions—once each in 2009 and 2011, and twice in 2016, all at Big Pond—Crawfish Frog choruses so large and intense that the frogs were oblivious to their presence. These big choruses sound like Harleys rolling through downtown Milwaukee. When contemplating the secretive nature of Crawfish Frogs, add to the list that includes solitary burrow dwelling, the difficulty of locating calling males. For all the energy Crawfish Frog males put into their breeding calls, they are often shy about making them. As a human approaches a typical twenty-first century Crawfish Frog chorus, males will abruptly stop calling and the night will go silent. When only two Crawfish Frog males are calling, frogs tend to take turns, or alternate calls, a behavior termed antisynchronization. Interestingly, frogs can shift between upland and breeding calls abruptly, suggesting different functions for these vocalizations.