Bushcricket song as a clue for spermatophore size?
- 127 Downloads
Bushcricket males of Poecilimon zimmeri transfer large and protein-rich spermatophores during mating, which females directly ingest. There is correlational evidence that heavier males transfer larger nuptial gifts. In no-choice mating trials, females mated randomly with respect to male’s body weight. In contrast, in two-choice mating trials, female bushcrickets exhibit clear choice for the heavier male. This heavier male advantage was also found in pre-mating choice during phonotaxis. With manipulated mute males, females mated at random with regard to body weight of the competitors. The number of physical encounters between a female and males was low in all tests with a single male (no choice) and greater in choice-tests with two competing males. The latencies to mate also differed significantly between treatments. The time mating pairs spent in precopula was short in experiments where the males could hear rivals and significantly longer in all other tests using either a single male or mute males. Thus, acoustic signalling in male bushcrickets seems to signal male body weight. A preference for heavier males may reflect a female’s preference for a larger spermatophore and therefore a greater direct benefit.
KeywordsSexual selection Mate choice Bioacoustics Spermatophore Poecilimon
We thank Klaus-Gerhard Heller, Robert Hickson and three anonymous referees for their discussion of the manuscript. This study was supported by a postdoctoral grant of the DFG (Graduiertenkolleg Evolutionäre Transformationen und Faunenschnitte) to GL.
- Arnqvist G, Rowe L (2005) Sexual conflict. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
- Bailey WJ (1991) Acoustic behaviour of insects. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Bateman PW, Ferguson JWH, Ferreira M (2004) The influence of physical and acoustic experience . on sequential mate preference in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. Is song important? J Ins Behav 17:843–855Google Scholar
- Darwin C (1871) The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. Murray, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Gerhardt HC, Huber F (2002) Acoustic communication in insects and anurans – common problems and diverse solutions. The University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
- Gwynne DT (2001) Katydids and bush-crickets: reproductive behavior and the evolution of the Tettigoniidae. Cornell University Press, IthakaGoogle Scholar
- Heller K-G (1988) Zur Bioakustik der europäischen Laubheuschrecken. Margraf, WeikersheimGoogle Scholar
- Heller K-G (1997) Geld oder Leben—die unterschiedlichen Kosten des Gesangs bei Laubheuschrecken. Jb Akad Wiss Göttingen 1997:132–152Google Scholar
- Heller K-G, von Helversen D (1991) Operational sex ratio and individual mating frequencies in two bushcricket species (Orthoptera, Tettigonioidea, Poecilimon). Ethology 89:211–228Google Scholar
- Houle D, Kondrashov AS (2002) Coevolution of costly mate choice and condition-dependent display of good genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 269:97–104Google Scholar
- Lehmann AW (1998) Artbildung, akustische Kommunikation und sexuelle Selektion bei griechischen Laubheuschrecken der Poecilimon propinquus-Gruppe (Orthoptera: Phaneropteridae). Ph.D. Dissertation, University Erlangen-Nürnberg; 134 ppGoogle Scholar
- Lehmann AW, Heller K-G (1998) Aspekte des Artbegriffs und die Entstehung reproduktiver Isolation im Poecilimon propinquus-Artenkreis (Insecta: Orthoptera: Phaneropteridae). Zool Abh 50:139–144Google Scholar
- Lehmann AW, Willemse F, Heller K-G (2006) Poecilimon gerlindae spec. nov.—a new bushcricket of the Poecilimon propinquus-group (Orthoptera: Phaneropteridae) from Greece. Articulata 21:109–119Google Scholar
- Møller AP (1994) Sexual selection and the barn swallow. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Parker G (1983) Mate quality and mating decisions. In: Bateson P (ed) Mate choice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 141–166Google Scholar
- Schatral A (1990) Interspecific acoustic behaviour among bushcrickets. In: Bailey WJ, Rentz DCF (eds) The Tettigoniidae: biology, systematics and evolution. Crawford House Press, Bathurst, pp 150–165Google Scholar