An Experimental Test of the Condition Dependent Handicap Hypothesis Using Gryllus Pennsylvanicus

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Tremblay, Donovan Thomas




Viability-based indicator models predict a positive correlation between ornamentation and longevity. Although ornament manipulations can reveal attraction and survival effects, they can inaccurately estimate the costs of ornamentation arising from correlated life-history constraints. Cotton circumvented this problem by applying a weight manipulation to stalk-eyed flies and asking whether males with bigger stalks lived longer. She found that ornamentation was positively correlated with longevity in weight manipulated males. Building upon Cotton's findings, I applied a weight and a diet manipulation to field crickets (Gryllus pennsylvanicus) and quantified their acoustic signalling and longevity. High effort signallers survived longer across all treatments. Further, males that signaled more attractively also survived longer when they experienced a weight manipulation and/or a poor diet. The weight manipulation did not directly affect longevity, because weight manipulated males dealt with the manipulation by reducing their signalling effort. Overall, my results provide strong support for viability-based indicator models.






Carleton University

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