Is it the Song or the Singers? Acoustic and Social Experiences Shape Adult Reproductive Tactics and Condition
When sexual signals are perceived during growth and development they can provide information regarding the social conditions likely to be encountered as an adult. Perception of cues related to the presence and density of future mates and potential competitors can result in altered adult phenotypes. Previous studies have shown that adult male Teleogryllus oceanicus field crickets from a Kauai, Hawaii population reared alone and without hearing conspecific song are more phonotactic than those reared with song. These naïve males also reduce investment in body size and immunity. Here we examined whether another source of population density information, the presence of other males, affects behavior, size, and immunity. Specifically, we examined satellite behavior as evidenced by strength of phonotaxis, body condition, and immune response in males reared singly and in groups in the presence and absence of conspecific song. Body condition did not vary with rearing density, and immune response did not vary with either acoustic environment or rearing density. Interestingly, group-housed males were more phonotactic than singly-housed males. This pattern was largely driven by the low levels of phonotaxis exhibited by males that were singly-housed in the presence of conspecific song. These findings suggest that males respond to social cues in addition to conspecific song, but that these cues do not necessarily provide concordant information.
KeywordsBehavioral plasticity density dependent prophylaxis sexual selection satellite behavior signal loss Teleogryllus oceanicus
Thanks to L. Lara and E. Schmidtman for assistance with behavioral assays and rearing crickets, and D. Sukarhan for assistance with immune assays. This work was funded by an HHMI Undergraduate Education Grant to E.B., the University of Minnesota and a National Science Foundation Grant to M.Z. (IOS 1261575).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All experiments conducted and presented in the manuscript comply with the laws and rules of the institution and country in which they were performed.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Ball EE, Oldfield BP, Rudolph KM (1990) Auditory organ structure, development, and function. In: Huber F, Moore TE, Loher W (eds) Cricket behavior and neurobiology. Cornell University Press, New York, pp 391–421Google Scholar
- Cade WH (1979) The evolution of alternative male reproductive strategies in field crickets. In: Blum MA, Blum NA (eds) Sexual selection and reproductive competition in insects. Academic Press, New York, pp 343–379Google Scholar
- Hägele BF, Simpson SJ (2000) The influence of mechanical, visual and contact chemical stimulation on the behavioural phase state of solitarious desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). J Insect Physiol 41:295–1301Google Scholar
- West-Eberhard MJ (2003) Developmental plasticity and evolution. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Wilson K, Cotter SC (2009) Density-dependent prophylaxis in insects. In: Whitman TW, Ananthakrishnan TN (eds) Phenotypic plasticity of insects: mechanisms and consequences. Science Pub Inc, Enfield, NH p. 191–232Google Scholar