Data for: Behavioural plasticity compensates for adaptive loss of cricket song

  • Will Schneider (Creator)



Behavioral flexibility could help animals cope with costs of genetic variants under selection, promoting unexpected genetic adaptation. To test this, we investigated how a critical acoustic communication signal – song – was rapidly lost due to genetic mutation in crickets exposed to lethal, eavesdropping parasitoids. We first determined that offspring production was equivalent in replicate silent versus singing populations using a controlled, naturalistic arena. Using our custom engineered high-resolution individual-based tracking system for low-light conditions, we found that fitness compensation in silent conditions was associated with increased locomotion in both sexes. Our results provide direct evidence that flexible behavior can promote genetic adaptation via compensation in reproductive output. The rapid evolution of animal communication systems may be less constrained than previously appreciated.
Date made available27 Feb 2024

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