Stridulation variability and morphology: an examination in dung beetles of the genus Trypocopris (Coleoptera, Geotrupidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:Carisio, Palestrini, Rolando
Journal:Population Ecology
Date Published:Jan-04-2004

Distress signals produced by dung beetles of the genus Trypocopris (Coleoptera, Geotrupidae) were analysed to test whether interspecific and intraspecific acoustic variability are species- and subspecies-specific and to ascertain to what extent bioacoustic parameters depend upon the morphology of the stridulatory organs (pars stridens). Bioacoustic analyses showed that the three species were clearly differentiated, despite the fact that disturbance stridulations presented the same stereotyped spectrographic pattern. Within each species, most of the subspecies and populations considered were also bioacoustically distinguishable. Subspecies and populations within each species were differentiated with regard to body size and stridulatory organ, and the length of the pars stridens was positively correlated with the width of the coxa, in turn positively correlated with body size. A few spectrographic measures were significantly constrained by the morphology of the stridulatory apparatus; in particular the duration of sound emission was positively correlated with the length of the apparatus and the sub-pulse rate was negatively related to the distance between two consecutive crests. For T. pyrenaeus, with the largest number of populations sampled, there was no significant correlation between morphological and spectrographic distances, but there were significant positive correlations between morphological and geographical distances and between morphological and genetic distances. It is hypothesized that genetic differentiation might directly affect variability of the stridulatory apparata which would also be indirectly influenced and constrained by external morphological traits (like the width of the coxa and body size). Stridulatory organs, in turn, would affect the ways a few stridulatory traits (especially the temporal ones) change in time and space.

Short Title:Popul Ecol
BioAcoustica ID: 
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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