Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 202, Issue 5, pp 347–360 | Cite as

Divergence in male cricket song and female preference functions in three allopatric sister species

  • Ralf Matthias Hennig
  • Thomas Blankers
  • David A. Gray
Original Paper

Abstract

Multivariate female preference functions for male sexual signals have rarely been investigated, especially in a comparative context among sister species. Here we examined male signal and female preference co-variation in three closely related, but allopatric species of Gryllus crickets and quantified male song traits as well as female preferences. We show that males differ conspicuously in either one of two relatively static song traits, carrier frequency or pulse rate; female preference functions for these traits also differed, and would in combination enhance species discrimination. In contrast, the relatively dynamic song traits, chirp rate and chirp duty cycle, show minimal divergence among species and relatively greater conservation of female preference functions. Notably, among species we demonstrate similar mechanistic rules for the integration of pulse and chirp time scales, despite divergence in pulse rate preferences. As these are allopatric taxa, selection for species recognition per se is unlikely. More likely sexual selection combined with conserved properties of preference filters enabled divergent coevolution of male song and female preferences.

Keywords

Acoustic communication Sensory filter Field cricket Phonotaxis Evolution 

Abbreviations

dB

Decibel

SPL

Sound pressure level

Notes

Acknowledgments

We much appreciate the assistance with behavioural experiments by Elisa Becker, Darja Hahn and Vivienne Kremling. Comments by Emma Berdan and Michael Reichert improved the manuscript. The performed experiments comply with the “Principles of animal care”, publication No. 86-23, revised 1985 of the National Institute of Health, and also with the current laws of Germany. Funded by DFG/SFB 618, ‘Theoretical Biology’, and GENART speciation network from the Leibniz Association.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf Matthias Hennig
    • 1
  • Thomas Blankers
    • 1
    • 2
  • David A. Gray
    • 3
  1. 1.Behavioural Physiology, Department of BiologyHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Museum für Naturkunde zu BerlinLeibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity ScienceBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Department of BiologyCalifornia State University NorthridgeNorthridgeUSA

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