Can behaviour impede evolution? Persistence of singing effort after morphological song loss in crickets
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Evolutionary loss of sexual signals is widespread. Examining the consequences for behaviours associated with such signals can provide insight into factors promoting or inhibiting trait loss. We tested whether a behavioural component of a sexual trait, male calling effort, has been evolutionary reduced in silent populations of Hawaiian field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus). Cricket song requires energetically costly wing movements, but ‘flatwing’ males have feminized wings that preclude song and protect against a lethal, eavesdropping parasitoid. Flatwing males express wing movement patterns associated with singing but, in contrast with normal-wing males, sustained periods of wing movement cannot confer sexual selection benefits and should be subject to strong negative selection. We developed an automated technique to quantify how long males spend expressing wing movements associated with song. We compared calling effort among populations of Hawaiian crickets with differing proportions of silent males and between male morphs. Contrary to expectation, silent populations invested as much in calling effort as non-silent populations. Additionally, flatwing and normal-wing males from the same population did not differ in calling effort. The lack of evolved behavioural adjustment following morphological change in silent Hawaiian crickets illustrates how behaviour might sometimes impede, rather than facilitate, evolution.
Rayner , J G , Schneider , W & Bailey , N W 2020 , ' Can behaviour impede evolution? Persistence of singing effort after morphological song loss in crickets ' , Biology Letters , vol. 16 , no. 6 , 20190931 . https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0931
Copyright © 2020 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5001083.
DescriptionFunding: Natural Environmental ResearchCouncil for funding (NE/L011255/1) (N.W.B.).
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