Acoustic communication in orthopterans and anurans provides a suitable model system for studying the evolutionary mechanisms of sexual selection mainly because males use acoustic signals to attract females over long distances for pair formation. Females use these signals not only to localize conspecific males but also to discriminate between potential mates. Investigations on the effect of sexual selection on acoustic signals requires an understanding of how female preferences for different features of the acoustic signal affect male mating success under ecological constraints in wild populations. The effect of female preferences on male mating success depends on the mate sampling strategy...
Acoustic communication, used by a wide variety of animals, consists of the signaler, the signal and the receiver. A change in the behaviour of the receiver after reception of the signal is a prerequisite for communication. A response to the signal by the receiver depends on signal recognition and localization of the signal source. These two aspects, namely recognition and localization by the receiver, form the main body of my work. In the mating system of crickets, the males produce advertisement calls to attract silent females to mate. Females need to recognize the conspecific call and localize the male. The...
Sound is used as a medium for communication by taxa as varied as insects, fish, amphibians, birds and mammals. In some birds like the suboscines, song is genetically encoded, whereas in parrots, hummingbirds and oscines, it is learnt. The diversity and plasticity of birdsong continues to generate interest amongst ornithologists, and many questions remain unresolved. For instance, why do some species sing hundreds of different songs while others use simple, stereotyped ones for the same purposes? Why do some birds learn not only their own species’ song, but also the songs of heterospecifics? There are several anecdotal reports of such...
Among the different sensory modalities that play a role in sexual selection, acoustic
communication plays an important one. Acoustic communication has been known to be
used for male-male competition (territory maintenance, male aggression during
mating),for advertisement to the opposite sex (mating status, body condition, genetic
quality, nutritional status) and used by females to sample and choose conspecific
preferred males. The use of acoustic communication for sexual display and information exchange has been extensively studied in multiple taxa, including insects, anurans, birds and mammals. Among insects, crickets have proven to be good model systems to study sexual selection based on acoustic communication as most species have...
Darwin was troubled by elaborate male traits observed in many species that are seemingly maladaptive for survival, the peacock’s tail being the most iconic of all. He wrote "The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick" because it challenged his theory of evolution by natural selection for adaptive traits. The extreme length of the tail may render a peacock more vulnerable to predation and therefore maladaptive for survival. To account for the evolution of apparently maladaptive traits he proposed the theory of sexual selection, wherein, traits that directly enhance mating success...