Signalling interactions during ontogeny are a cause of social plasticity in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae)

Camille Desjonquères, Bretta Speck, Rafael Lucas Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We recently discovered that there is a social ontogeny of signals and preferences in Enchenopa treehoppers. Nymphs signalled throughout their development; some signal features changed gradually and in sexually dimorphic ways throughout ontogeny; and some adult male signal features and female mate preferences differed between individuals reared in isolation or groups. In this paper, we investigate whether signalling interactions during ontogeny are a cause of plasticity in mating signals and preferences. We subjected Enchenopa nymphs to treatments of either: rearing in aggregations (the natural condition), in isolation, or in isolation with playbacks of nymph signals. We then described variation in the signals and mating preferences of individuals that developed in those conditions. The playback treatments partially "rescued" the signal and preference phenotypes, resulting in phenotypes either similar to those that result from rearing in aggregations, or intermediate between those that result from rearing in isolation or in aggregations. These results pin-point signalling interactions during ontogeny as an important cause of plasticity in signals and mate preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103887
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume166
Early online date17 Jun 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019

Keywords

  • Social ontogeny
  • Vibrational communication
  • Courtship behaviour
  • Substrate-borne playback

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