Individually distinctive vocalizations are widespread in nature, although the ability of receivers to discriminate these signals has only been explored through limited taxonomic and social lenses. Here, we asked whether anuran advertisement calls, typically studied for their role in territory defense and mate attraction, facilitate recognition and preferential association with partners in a pair-bonding poison frog (Ranitomeya imitator). Combining no- and two-stimulus choice playback experiments, we evaluated behavioral responses of females to male acoustic stimuli. Virgin females oriented to and approached speakers broadcasting male calls independent of caller identity, implying that females are generally attracted to male acoustic stimuli outside the context of a pair bond. When pair-bonded females were presented with calls of a mate and a stranger, they showed significant preference for calls of their mate. Moreover, behavioral responses varied with breeding status: females with eggs were faster to approach stimuli than females that were pair bonded but did not currently have eggs. Our study suggests a potential role for individual vocal recognition in the formation and maintenance of pair bonds in a poison frog and raises new questions about how acoustic signals are perceived in the context of monogamy and biparental care.

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