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The opportunity for sampling: the ecological context of female mate choice

Deb, Rittik and Balakrishnan, Rohini (2014) The opportunity for sampling: the ecological context of female mate choice. In: BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, 25 (4). pp. 967-974.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1093/beheco/aru072

Abstract

Female mate choice decisions, which influence sexual selection, involve complex interactions between the 2 sexes and the environment. Theoretical models predict that male movement and spacing in the field should influence female sampling tactics, and in turn, females should drive the evolution of male movement and spacing to sample them optimally. Theoretically, simultaneous sampling of males using the best-of-n or comparative Bayes strategy should yield maximum mating benefits to females. We examined the ecological context of female mate sampling based on acoustic signals in the tree cricket Oecanthus henryi to determine whether the conditions for such optimal strategies were met in the field. These strategies involve recall of the quality and location of individual males, which in turn requires male positions to be stable within a night. Calling males rarely moved within a night, potentially enabling female sampling strategies that require recall. To examine the possibility of simultaneous acoustic sampling of males, we estimated male acoustic active spaces using information on male spacing, call transmission, and female hearing threshold. Males were found to be spaced far apart, and active space overlap was rare. We then examined female sampling scenarios by studying female spacing relative to male acoustic active spaces. Only 15% of sampled females could hear multiple males, suggesting that simultaneous mate sampling is rare in the field. Moreover, the relatively large distances between calling males suggest high search costs, which may favor threshold strategies that do not require memory.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, JOURNALS DEPT, 2001 EVANS RD, CARY, NC 27513 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2014 09:13
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2014 09:13
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/49985

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