• Information content of house cricket (Acheta domesticus) songs and the evolution of multiple signals.

      Covey, Andrea J. (2013-01-11)
      Despite the extensive literature on cricket bioacoustics, little collective understanding has been established that compares the structural and functional significance of the three distinct gryllid song types: calling song, courtship song, and aggressive song. Here, we compile recent work on all three song types that underscores the importance of song in communicating aspects of male phenotype to receivers (females and rival males). In doing so, we uncover similarities and differences between both the information content of each song type and the acoustic structures through which this content is communicated. By placing these comparisons into the context of multiple signaling theory, we can begin to understand how and why male gryllids make use of multiple acoustic signals. -- Author abstract (leaf 2) Despite the extensive literature on cricket bioacoustics, little collective understanding has been established that compares the structural and functional significance of the three distinct gryllid song types: calling song, courtship song, and aggressive song. Here, we measured all three song types from a cohort of male house crickets (Acheta domesticus) throughout their natural lifespan in order to make direct comparisons of song structure and phenotypic information content between the calling, courtship, and aggressive songs. Through statistical analysis of eight acoustic parameters of song, we established that there are significant structural differences between the three song types. By looking for correlations between phenotype and song structure, we also determined the phenotypic information content present in all three house cricket songs and that the distribution of information content may differ depending on song type. This suggests that the evolutionary persistence of three song types in the gryllid family may be due to the presence of multiple messages. -- Author abstract (leaf 45)