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Females of a tree cricket prefer larger males but not the lower frequency male calls that indicate large body size

Deb, Rittik and Bhattacharya, Monisha and Balakrishnan, Rohini (2012) Females of a tree cricket prefer larger males but not the lower frequency male calls that indicate large body size. In: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 84 (1). pp. 137-149.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.04.020


In the tree cricket Oecanthus henryi, females are attracted by male calls and can choose between males. To make a case for female choice based on male calls, it is necessary to examine male call variation in the field and identify repeatable call features that are reliable indicators of male size or symmetry. Female preference for these reliable call features and the underlying assumption behind this choice, female preference for larger males, also need to be examined. We found that females did prefer larger males during mating, as revealed by the longer mating durations and longer spermatophore retention times. We then examined the correlation between acoustic and morphological features and the repeatability of male calls in the field across two temporal scales, within and across nights. We found that carrier frequency was a reliable indicator of male size, with larger males calling at lower frequencies at a given temperature. Simultaneous playback of male calls differing in frequency, spanning the entire range of natural variation at a given temperature, revealed a lack of female preference for low carrier frequencies. The contrasting results between the phonotaxis and mating experiments may be because females are incapable of discriminating small differences in frequency or because the change in call carrier frequency with temperature renders this cue unreliable in tree crickets. (C) 2012 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Elsevier
Keywords: carrier frequency; female preference; male morphology; mating duration; Oecanthus henryi; repeatability; spermatophore retention time; tree cricket
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Francis Jayakanth
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2012 06:24
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2012 06:24
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/44886

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