The potential influence of morphology on the evolutionary divergence of an acoustic signal
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The evolution of acoustic behaviour and that of the morphological traits mediating its production are often coupled. Lack of variation in the underlying morphology of signalling traits has the potential to constrain signal evolution. This relationship is particularly likely in field crickets, where males produce acoustic advertisement signals to attract females by stridulating with specialized structures on their forewings. In this study, we characterize the size and geometric shape of the forewings of males from six allopatric populations of the black field cricket (Teleogryllus commodus) known to have divergent advertisement calls. We sample from each of these populations using both wild-caught and common-garden-reared cohorts, allowing us to test for multivariate relationships between wing morphology and call structure. We show that the allometry of shape has diverged across populations. However, there was a surprisingly small amount of covariation between wing shape and call structure within populations. Given the importance of male size for sexual selection in crickets, the divergence we observe among populations has the potential to influence the evolution of advertisement calls in this species.
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