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Data from: Community composition affects the shape of mate response functions

Cite this dataset

Symes, Laurel B. (2014). Data from: Community composition affects the shape of mate response functions [Dataset]. Dryad.


The evolution of mate preferences can be critical for the evolution of reproductive isolation and speciation. Heterospecific interference may carry substantial fitness costs and result in preferences where females are most responsive to the mean conspecific trait with low response to traits that differ from this value. However, when male traits are unbounded by heterospecifics, there may not be selection against females that respond to extreme trait values in the unbounded direction. To test how heterospecifics affected the shape of female response functions, I presented female Oecanthus tree crickets with synthetic calls representing a range of male calls, then measured female phonotaxis to construct response functions. The species with the fastest pulse rates in the community consistently responded to pulse rates faster than those produced by their males, while in the intermediate and slowest pulse rate species there was no significant difference between the male trait and the female response. This work suggests that species with the most extreme signal in the community respond to a greater range of signals, potentially resulting in a higher probability of hybridization during secondary contact, and revealing interactions between mate recognition and other aspects of sexual selection.

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Southern United States
Eastern United States