Experimental evolution reveals that population density does not affect moth signalling behaviour and antennal morphology

Ashman, Kita, McNamara, Kathryn B and Symonds, Matthew 2016, Experimental evolution reveals that population density does not affect moth signalling behaviour and antennal morphology, Evolutionary ecology, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 1009-1021, doi: 10.1007/s10682-016-9857-0.

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Title Experimental evolution reveals that population density does not affect moth signalling behaviour and antennal morphology
Author(s) Ashman, Kita
McNamara, Kathryn B
Symonds, MatthewORCID iD for Symonds, Matthew orcid.org/0000-0002-9785-6045
Journal name Evolutionary ecology
Volume number 30
Issue number 6
Start page 1009
End page 1021
Total pages 13
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin. Germany
Publication date 2016-12
ISSN 1573-8477
Keyword(s) Antennal morphology
Lepidoptera
Scanning electron microscopy
Sex pheromone
Sexual selection
Signalling
Receiver
Plodia interpunctella
Calling behaviour
Summary Population density can play a vital role in determining investment in reproductive behaviours and morphologies of invertebrates. Males reared in high-density environments, where competition is high but difficulties in locating mates are low, may invest more in reproductive structures associated with sperm competition such as testes, at the expense of those traits associated with mate location, such as antennae. In species where females advertise for mates, such as most moths, a high-density environment may also lead to a reduction in pheromonal signalling (calling) length and frequency as a result of high mate abundance. While such responses have been shown at the phenotypically plastic level in moths, heritable evolutionary adaptations have seldom been tested, and studies of how population density influences pheromone signalling strategies are scarce. Here we use behavioural assays and scanning electron microscopic measurements to test whether larval population density influences, at the genetic level, the ability of males to locate females and male investment into antennal morphology, in addition to its effect on the frequency and duration of female calling. We used two replicated populations of the Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella that had experimentally evolved under high or low population densities for 35 generations. We found no significant divergence in antennal morphology or mate acquisition behaviours between the two density populations. These findings suggest that although population density has the ability to create plastic changes in both morphological and behavioural traits, this factor alone is unlikely to be causing evolutionary change in male and female signalling in this species.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10682-016-9857-0
Field of Research 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified
060305 Evolution of Developmental Systems
060299 Ecology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970105 Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30088481

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