The impact of age and egg-laying cycle on female grasshoppers’ preference functions for acoustic signals

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:Aufderheide, Ronacher
Journal:Journal of Comparative Physiology A
Date Published:Jan-12-2018
Keywords:acoustic communication, Age effects, Female choice, Oviposition, Preference functions

Female responsiveness and the shape of preference functions for male signal traits are important determinants for male mating success. We observed the responsiveness and the selectivity of virgin grasshopper females (Chorthippus biguttulus L.) for different features of males’ acoustic signals throughout their life span to detect possible influences of age on the females’ preference functions. In particular, we explored the hypothesis that the females may become less selective with increasing age and, therefore, would start to accept songs that are normally rejected. Such an age effect could relieve the selection pressure on male signal traits. In the majority of animals tested, the general responsiveness decreased with age although a few individuals exhibited an opposite trend. Contrary to the above expectation, there was no indication of a loss of selectivity in older females or an increased acceptance of normally unattractive song models. The timing within the oviposition cycle had a strong effect on responsiveness: near oviposition the general responsiveness increased and with it also the half width of the preference functions. However, highly unattractive song models remained unattractive also near oviposition.

Short Title:J Comp Physiol A
BioAcoustica ID: 
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