The adaptive significance of acoustic spacing in male bushcrickets Tettigonia viridissima: a perturbation experiment

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1990
Authors:Arak, A, Eiriksson, T, Radesäter, T
Journal:Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Date Published:Jan-01-1990

A perturbation experiment was carried out in which the spacing between singing male bushcrickets, Tettigonia viridissima, was artificially manipulated. The experiment entailed releasing virgin females into an area in which caged males were either spaced evenly or in which a proportion of the males were clumped. There was large variation among males in the proportion of time spent singing (range 39–91% of total singing time). Singing activity was correlated with male body weight, but was not influenced by male spacing. Out of a total of 108 females released during the experiment, the majority (N=90) moved from their release points onto the cage of one of the closest singing males. More distant signalers sometimes attracted females when one of the closest males did not sing, or sang very little, during the period in which females were moving. When clumped, males were less successful in attracting females than when regularly spaced within the experimental area. Therefore, within a homogeneous habitat in which females are randomly distributed, male mating success will be maximized when males space out as far as possible from their competitors. As predicted, a regular dispersion of signaling males is the pattern observed in the preferred microhabitats of this species in nature.

Short Title:Behav Ecol Sociobiol
BioAcoustica ID: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith