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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16756

Title: Survival, Song and Sexual Selection
Authors: Judge, Kevin Andrew
Advisor: Gwynne, Darryl Trevor
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Keywords: Gryllus pennsylvanicus
Gryllus
Gryllidae
Orthoptera
life history
lifespan
condition dependence
calling effort
bioacoustics
selection analysis
mating preferences
male-male competition
field cricket
cricket fighting
Issue Date: 19-Jan-2009
Abstract: Darwinian sexual selection predicts that males with the most extravagant secondary sexual traits suffer elevated mortality. Although correlative evidence has generally not borne this idea out, recent research, including a field cricket study, showed that investment in sexually selected traits is costly to survival. I investigated male survival, ornamentation (song) and mating success in a North American grylline, Gryllus pennsylvanicus, to test the generality of previous work and highlight the importance of ecology differences to resource allocation. As the calling songs of older male G. pennsylvanicus are highly attractive to females, in Chapter 2 I tested whether male age correlated with calling song and found a weak but statistically significant correlation, thus leaving open the possibility that choosy females use an age-based indicator mechanism. In Chapter 3, I tested the condition dependence of male survival and calling effort. In contrast to previous work, I found that high condition males both called more and lived longer than low condition males, although there was no trade-off between survival and calling effort. The substantial condition dependence of calling effort suggests that calling effort is under strong directional selection. In Chapter 4 I tested whether female mating preferences resulted in strong selection on male calling effort. I also tested for the condition dependence of female mating preferences. I found that female choosiness was condition-dependent, but the rank of preferred male songs (preference function) was not. Both low and high condition females preferred high calling effort over low calling effort song. In Chapter 5 I tested for evidence of nonlinear selection on male survival that might explain the nonlinear pattern of male investment in survival seen in Chapter 3 (i.e. male survival leveled-off with increasing condition). I found that socially experienced females, but not virgin and naive females, exerted linear selection on male age. I discuss these and the other results of my thesis in the context of previous work on field crickets and condition-dependent ornamentation. Finally, Appendix A reports results that confirm ancient Chinese cultural knowledge that large headed male crickets are more successful in male-male combat.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/16756
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology - Doctoral theses

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