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Data for: Socially cued anticipatory adjustment of female signalling effort in a moth


McNamara, Kathryn (2020), Data for: Socially cued anticipatory adjustment of female signalling effort in a moth, Dryad, Dataset,


Juvenile population density has profound effects on subsequent adult development, morphology, and reproductive investment. Yet, little is known about how the juvenile social environment affects adult investment into chemical sexual signalling. Male gumleaf skeletonizer moths, Uraba lugens, facultatively increase investment into antennae (pheromone receiving structures) when reared at low juvenile population densities, but whether there is comparable adjustment by females into pheromone investment is not known. We investigate how juvenile population density influences the ‘calling’ (pheromone-releasing) behaviour of females, and the attractiveness of their pheromones. Female U. lugens adjust their calling behaviour in response to socio-sexual cues: adult females reared in high juvenile population densities called earlier and for longer than those from low juvenile densities. Juvenile density also affected female pheromonal attractiveness: y-maze olfactometer assays revealed that males prefer pheromones produced by females reared at high juvenile densities. This strategic investment in calling behaviour by females, based on juvenile cues that anticipate the future socio-sexual environment, likely reflects a response to avoid mating failure through competition with neighbouring signallers.

Usage Notes

The R code for analysing this data is contained in the Supplementary Materials of the paper.