The data of parasite-induced and spontaneous displays in each limb movement for calling males, silent males and males that have females nearby
Zhao, Longhui et al. (2022), The data of parasite-induced and spontaneous displays in each limb movement for calling males, silent males and males that have females nearby, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f1vhhmgzg
Many animals rely on complex sexual signals that target multiple senses to attract mates and repel rivals. These multimodal mating displays can however also attract unintended receivers, which can be an important driver of signal complexity. Despite being taxonomically widespread, we often lack insight into how multimodal signals evolve from unimodal signals and in particular what roles unintended eavesdroppers play. Here we assess whether the physical movements of parasite defense behavior increase the complexity and attractiveness of an acoustic sexual signal in the little torrent frog (Amolops torrentis). Calling males of this species often display limb movements in order to defend against blood-sucking parasites such as frog-biting midges that eavesdrop on their acoustic signal. Through mate choice tests we show that some of these midge-evoked movements influence female preference for acoustic signals. Our data suggest that midge-induced movements may be incorporated into a sexual display, targeting both hearing and vision in the intended receiver. Females may play an important role in incorporating these multiple components because they prefer signals which combine multiple programs. Our results thus help to understand the relationship between ecological and sexual selection pressure operating on signalers and how in turn this may influence multimodal signal evolution.