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The evolution of the larynx in anurans: a study of the laryngeal structure in the most species-rich genus of Neotropical treefrogs (Hylidae: Scinax)

Grant number: 19/24979-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2021
Effective date (End): January 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad
Grantee:Katyuscia de Araujo Vieira
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil


The larynx of anurans is a cartilaginous structure that houses the vocal cords. The sound is produced by vibrating of the vocal cords and associated cartilages as the air accumulated in the lungs is expired and moves through the larynx into the buccal cavity. The larynx is of great importance during the reproductive period of anurans, because it is the organ that produces the calls required for successful courtship and mating in this group. Studies on the morphological structure of the larynx and its correlation with calls in anurans were basically restricted to particular species and, in few cases, to small clades. The hylid genus Scinax is the most species-rich group of Neotropical treefrogs, with more than 120 species distributed from southern Mexico to central-eastern Argentina, including Trinidad and Tobago and Saint Lucia. Scinax has a great morphological and structural diversity of the larynx, but it is poorly known considering the species diversity of the tribe. Furthermore, the species in this group present a vast vocal repertoire with different types of calls. Therefore, this project proposes to study the evolution of the larynx and its relation with the vocalization in anurans, taking the genus Scinax as a model to understand the evolutionary patterns involved. To accomplish this goal, it will be carried out a detailed study of the laryngeal morphology and advertisement calls of the species of Scinax to evaluate the correlation between the evolution of the laryngeal structure and the diversity of calls in the tribe, based on the phylogenetic hypothesis proposed for the tribe in the doctoral thesis of the candidate. (AU)