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Data from: Sensory evolution of hearing in tettigoniids with differing communication systems

Cite this dataset

Strauß, Johannes; Lehmann, Arne; Lehmann, Gerlind; Lehmann, G. U. C. (2013). Data from: Sensory evolution of hearing in tettigoniids with differing communication systems [Dataset]. Dryad.


In Tettigoniidae (Orthoptera: Ensifera), hearing organs are essential in mate detection. Male tettigoniids usually produce calling songs by tegminal stridulation, whereas females approach the males phonotactically. This unidirectional communication system is the most common one among tettigoniids. In several tettigoniid lineages, females have evolved acoustic replies to the male calling song which constitutes a bidirectional communication system. The genus Poecilimon (Tettigoniidae: Phaneropterinae) is of special interest because the ancestral state of bidirectional communication, with calling males and responding females, has been reversed repeatedly to unidirectional communication. Acoustic communication is mediated by hearing organs that are adapted to the conspecific signals. Therefore, we analyse the auditory system in the Tettigoniidae genus Poecilimon for functional adaptations in three characteristics: (i) dimension of sound-receiving structures (tympanum and acoustic spiracle), (ii) number of auditory sensilla and (iii) hearing sensitivity. Profound differences in the auditory system correlate with uni- or bidirectional communication. Among the sound-receiving structures, the tympana scale with body size, whereas the acoustic spiracle, the major sound input structure, was drastically reduced in unidirectional communicating species. In the unidirectional P. ampliatus group, auditory sensilla are severely reduced in numbers, but not in the unidirectional P. propinquus group. Within the P. ampliatus group, the number of auditory sensilla is further reduced in P. intermedius which lost acoustic signalling due to parthenogenesis. The auditory sensitivity correlated with the size of the acoustic spiracle, as hearing sensitivity was better with larger spiracles, especially in the ultrasonic range. Our results show a significant reduction in auditory structures, shaped by the differing sex roles during mate detection.

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