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Free Content Increase in song frequency decreases spermatophore size: correlative evidence of a macroevolutionary trade-off in katydids (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae)

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In many katydids, the male feeds his mate with a large gelatinous spermatophore. Males of most species also produce elaborate calling songs. We predicted a negative relationship between spermatophore size and call frequency because of trade-offs between these two costly traits. Our comparative analysis controlling phylogeny and body size supported this prediction. Although call frequency is expected to decrease with increasing body size, after controlling for phylogeny, both variables were not related. Finally, given that song frequency and spermatophore size are likely targets of sexual selection, we examined the relationship between these variables and sexual size dimorphism (SSD) which can be influenced by sexual selection on body size. We found that only female body size was positively related to SSD, suggesting that natural and/or sexual selection on female body size may be stronger than sexual selection on male and spermatophore size.
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Keywords: carrier frequency; katydids; sexual selection; sexual size dimorphism; spermatophore; trade-off

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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