Data from: Sex-specific genotype-by-environment interactions for cuticular hydrocarbon expression in decorated crickets, Gryllodes sigillatus: implications for the evolution of signal reliability
Weddle, Carie B. et al. (2012), Data from: Sex-specific genotype-by-environment interactions for cuticular hydrocarbon expression in decorated crickets, Gryllodes sigillatus: implications for the evolution of signal reliability, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5167t
Phenotypic traits that convey information about individual identity or quality are important in animal social interactions, and the degree to which such traits are influenced by environmental variation can have profound effects on the reliability of these cues. Using inbred genetic lines of the decorated cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus, we manipulated diet quality to test how the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profiles of males and females respond across two different nutritional rearing environments. There were significant differences between lines in the CHC profiles of females, but the effect of diet was not quite statistically significant. There was no significant genotype-by-environment interaction (GEI), suggesting that environmental effects on phenotypic variation in female CHCs are independent of genotype. There was, however, a significant effect of GEI for males, with changes in both signal quantity and content, suggesting that environmental effects on phenotypic expression of male CHCs are dependent on genotype. The differential response of male and female CHC expression to variation in the nutritional environment suggests that these chemical cues may be under sex-specific selection for signal reliability. Female CHCs show the characteristics of reliable cues of identity: high genetic variability, low condition dependence, and a high degree of genetic determination. This supports earlier work showing that female CHCs are used in self-recognition to identify previous mates and facilitate polyandry. In contrast, male CHCs show the characteristics of reliable cues of quality: condition dependence and a relatively higher degree of environmental determination. This suggests that male CHCs are likely to function as cues of underlying quality during mate choice and/or male dominance interactions.