Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Vestigial singing behaviour persists after the evolutionary loss of song in crickets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The evolutionary loss of sexual traits is widely predicted. Because sexual signals can arise from the coupling of specialized motor activity with morphological structures, disruption to a single component could lead to overall loss of function. Opportunities to observe this process and characterize any remaining signal components are rare, but could provide insight into the mechanisms, indirect costs and evolutionary consequences of signal loss. We investigated the recent evolutionary loss of a long-range acoustic sexual signal in the Hawaiian field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus. Flatwing males carry mutations that remove sound-producing wing structures, eliminating all acoustic signalling and affording protection against an acoustically-orientating parasitoid fly. We show that flatwing males produce wing movement patterns indistinguishable from those that generate sonorous calling song in normal-wing males. Evolutionary song loss caused by the disappearance of structural components of the sound-producing apparatus has left behind the energetically costly motor behaviour underlying normal singing. These results provide a rare example of a vestigial behaviour and raise the possibility that such traits could be co-opted for novel functions.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170654
Number of pages4
JournalBiology Letters
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Central pattern generator, Orthoptera, Rapid evolution, Sexual signal, Trait loss, Vestigial behaviour

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Population genomics and structure of the critically endangered Mariana Crow (Corvus kubaryi)

    Cortes-Rodriguez, N., Campana, M. G., Berry, L., Faegre, S., Derrickson, S. R., Robinette Ha, R., Dickow, R. B., Rutz, C. & Fleischer, R. C., 1 Mar 2019, In : Genes. 10, 3, 17 p., 187.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Behavioural mechanisms of sexual isolation involving multiple modalities and their inheritance

    Moran, P., Hunt, J., Mitchell, C., Ritchie, M. G. & Bailey, N. W., Mar 2019, In : Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32, 3, p. 243-258

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Animal cultures matter for conservation

    Brakes, P., Dall, S. R. X., Aplin, L. M., Bearhop, S., Carroll, E. L., Ciucci, P., Fishlock, V., Ford, J. K. B., Garland, E. C., Keith, S. A., McGregor, P. K., Mesnick, S. L., Noad, M. J., Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., Robbins, M. M., Simmonds, M. P., Spina, F., Thornton, A., Wade, P. R., Whiting, M. J. & 5 othersWilliams, J., Rendell, L., Whitehead, H., Whiten, A. & Rutz, C., 26 Feb 2019, In : Science. 5 p., eaaw3557.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Raw-material selectivity in hook-tool-crafting New Caledonian crows

    Klump, B. C., Cantat, M. & Rutz, C., Feb 2019, In : Biology Letters. 15, 2, 6 p., 20180836.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Social effects on fruit fly courtship song

    Marie-Orleach, L., Bailey, N. W. & Ritchie, M. G., Jan 2019, In : Ecology and Evolution. 9, 1, p. 410-416 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Raw-material selectivity in hook-tool-crafting New Caledonian crows

    Klump, B. C., Cantat, M. & Rutz, C., Feb 2019, In : Biology Letters. 15, 2, 6 p., 20180836.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Dominance structure of assemblages is regulated over a period of rapid environmental change

    Jones, F. A. M. & Magurran, A. E., Jun 2018, In : Biology Letters. 14, 6

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Inclusive fitness for in-laws

    Dyble, M., Gardner, A., Vinicius, L. & Migliano, A., Oct 2018, In : Biology Letters. 14, 10

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Tail walking in a bottlenose dolphin community: the rise and fall of an arbitrary cultural 'fad'

    Bossley, M., Steiner, A., Brakes, P., Shrimpton, J., Foster, C. & Rendell, L., Sep 2018, In : Biology Letters. 14, 9, 5 p., 20180314.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Graeme Douglas Ruxton (Editor)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Karen Anne Spencer (Member of editorial board)
    1 Apr 2011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. Biology Letters (Journal)

    David Michael Shuker (Member of editorial board)
    2011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Josep Call (Member of editorial board)
    20072013

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. Biology Letters (Journal)

    Richard William Byrne (Member of editorial board)
    20072012

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

ID: 252359921