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CALLING COMMUNICATION IN MEADOW KATYDIDS (ORTHOPTERA, TETTIGONIIDAE): FEMALE PREFERENCES FOR SPECIES-SPECIFIC WINGSTROKE RATES

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During their search for a mate, female Conocephalus brevipennis (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) exhibit different phonotactic preferences. We presented females with calling song stimuli in no-choice playback experiments to determine the physical form of the sound signals they prefer to approach. Females were attracted by sustained noise, a signal lacking any speciesspecific amplitude modulation (AM) but possessing the ultrasonic carrier band typical of Conocephalus spp. This stimulus approximates the collective output of distant aggregations of calling males in which the species-specific AM features of the song are obscured by the grouped singing. When presented with close-range broadcasts, where detailed song features were not obscured ( i.e. the call of a single male), female preference was always for conspecific calling song.

We also studied female preference for various modifications of the major physical components of the buzz-tick-gap structure of C. brevipennis calling song to uncover parameters used by females for localization and conspecific recognition. Testing the efficacy of these components in eliciting taxis via two-choice experiments, demonstrated that females prefer the more sustained component (buzz). This may be the most localizable and attractive element of calling song by virtue of its duration. However, the complete song (buzz-tick pattern with gap) must also be perceived by females in order for them to approach a close-proximity singer. In contrast, results from no-choice experiments revealed that the buzz was preferred by females even without the perception of the complete song (ticks and gap were absent).

10.1163/15685390252902256
/content/journals/10.1163/15685390252902256
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/content/journals/10.1163/15685390252902256
2002-01-01
2016-12-05

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