, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 233-243

Phonotactic parasitoids and cricket song structure: An evaluation of alternative hypotheses

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Summary

Calling characteristics of field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) differ between Pacific populations parasitized and unparasitized by a phonotactic fly (Ormia ochracea). Although we inferred that these song differences were due to natural selection by the fly, other environmental differences among sampling localities may also influence the cricket song. To evaluate the contribution of parasitoid pressure to variation in song structure, we analysed calls of crickets from five areas arrayed along a gradient of prevalence of parasitization. A novel use of canonical correlation analysis allowed us to test simultaneously the robustness of alternative hypotheses and their predictions. There is strong inference that selection pressures by phonotactic parasitoid flies have shaped song characteristics of field crickets in the Hawaiian Islands. Not all song components appear to have been equally affected by parasitoid selection and approximately 80–90% of total song variation among individuals is associated with other, unmeasured ecological and environmental attributes.