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Call intensity is a repeatable and dominant acoustic feature determining male call attractiveness in a field cricket

Nandi, Diptarup and Balakrishnan, Rohini (2013) Call intensity is a repeatable and dominant acoustic feature determining male call attractiveness in a field cricket. In: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 86 (5). pp. 1003-1012.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.09.003

Abstract

Acoustic signal variation and female preference for different signal components constitute the prerequisite framework to study the mechanisms of sexual selection that shape acoustic communication. Despite several studies of acoustic communication in crickets, information on both male calling song variation in the field and female preference in the same system is lacking for most species. Previous studies on acoustic signal variation either were carried out on populations maintained in the laboratory or did not investigate signal repeatability. We therefore used repeatability analysis to quantify variation in the spectral, temporal and amplitudinal characteristics of the male calling song of the field cricket Plebeiogryllus guttiventris in a wild population, at two temporal scales, within and across nights. Carrier frequency (CF) was the most repeatable character across nights, whereas chirp period (CP) had low repeatability across nights. We investigated whether female preferences were more likely to be based on features with high (CF) or low (CP) repeatability. Females showed no consistent preferences for CF but were significantly more attracted towards signals with short CPs. The attractiveness of lower CP calls disappeared, however, when traded off with sound pressure level (SPL). SPL was the only acoustic feature that was significantly positively correlated with male body size. Since relative SPL affects female phonotaxis strongly and can vary unpredictably based on male spacing, our results suggest that even strong female preferences for acoustic features may not necessarily translate into greater advantage for males possessing these features in the field. (C) 2013 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 SCIENCE LTD
Keywords: acoustic signal; female preference; field cricket; mate choice; Plebeiogryllus guttiventris; repeatability; sexual selection; sound pressure level
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 11:30
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2013 11:30
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/47837

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