Subspecies-specific song preferences and diverged heterospecific discrimination in females of the bush-cricket Isophya kraussii (Orthoptera: Phaneropterinae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2017
Authors:Orci, KMárk, Iorgu, IȘtefan
Journal:Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Date Published:Sep-09-2017
Keywords:acoustic communication, mate recognition, signal evolution, speciation

Divergence of the acoustic signals used in mate calling may be an important driver of speciation. Male song may vary accordingly to, in mismatch with or independently of female preferences. Therefore, to estimate the importance of male signal variation between subspecies, female preferences against subspecies-specific signal variants must be tested. We examined the female response probability in the two subspecies of the bush-cricket Isophya kraussii for consubspecific and heterosubspecific male signals, and also for the song of a closely related species (I. camptoxypha), which is sympatric with one, but allopatric to the other subspecies. Performing no-choice playback experiments, we found that females of both subspecies responded to the male song of their own subspecies with significantly higher probability than to heterosubspecific and heterospecific songs. Response specificity for consubspecific vs. heterosubspecific signals was not significantly asymmetric comparing the two subspecies. A significant difference was found, however, in the discrimination of heterospecific calls: females showed stronger discrimination against the song of I. camptoxypha in the subspecies sympatric with that species. Our results are best explained by a tightly covarying, stepwise coevolution of male signals and female preferences.

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