Data from: Males adjust their signalling behaviour according to experience of male signals and male-female signal duets
Rebar, Darren; Rodriguez, Rafael L. (2016), Data from: Males adjust their signalling behaviour according to experience of male signals and male-female signal duets, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4f1k5
Sexual signals are conspicuous sources of information about neighbouring competitors, and species in which males and females signal during pair formation provide various sources of public information to which individuals can adjust their behaviour. We performed two experiments with a duetting vibrational insect, Enchenopa binotata treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae), to ask whether males adjust their signalling behaviour according to (1a) their own experience of competitors' signals, (1b) how females adjust their mate preferences on the basis of their experience of male signals (described in prior work), and/or (2) their own experience of female response signals to competitors' signals. We presented males with synthetic male signals of different frequencies and combinations thereof for 2 weeks. We recorded males a day after their last signal exposure, finding that (1a) male signal rate increased in response to experience of attractive competitors, but that (1b) male signal frequency did not shift in a manner consistent with how females adjust their mate preferences in those experience treatments. Second, we presented males with different male–female duets for 2 weeks, finding that (2) male signal length increased from experience of female duets with attractive competitors. Males thus make two types of adjustment according to two sources of public information: one provided by experience of male signals and another by experience of female responses to male signals. Signalling plasticity can generate feedback loops between the adjustments that males and females make, and we discuss the potential consequences of such feedback loops for the evolution of communication systems.