Temperature preferences of male field crickets (Gryllus integer) alter their mating calls
Temperature affects the mating displays of many ectothermic animals, yet almost no information exists on the temperature preferences of ectotherms while they are displaying for mates. This study investigated the preferences of displaying male field crickets (Gryllus integer) for microhabitats of different temperatures. G. integer males attract sexually receptive females by calling from cracks in the ground. We collected data from the field on the temperature of male calling sites (cracks in the ground), on the amount of herbaceous cover (which affects crack temperature) surrounding calling sites, and on the temporal properties of male calls at different temperatures. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that males prefer warmer sites and confirmed that temperature influences mating calls. We conclude that males of this ectothermic species prefer to call for mates from warmer sites, and that microhabitat choice on the basis of temperature affects their mating calls, and potentially their reproductive success.
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