Multivariate sexual selection on male tegmina in wild populations of sagebrush crickets, Cyphoderris strepitans (Orthoptera: Haglidae)

G. D. Ower, J. Hunt, S. K. Sakaluk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the strength and form of sexual selection on song in male crickets have been studied extensively, few studies have examined selection on the morphological structures that underlie variation in males’ song, particularly in wild populations. Geometric morphometric techniques were used to measure sexual selection on the shape, size and symmetry of both top and bottom tegmina in wild populations of sagebrush crickets, a species in which nuptial feeding by females imposes an unambiguous phenotypic marker on males. The size of the tegmina negatively covaried with song dominant frequency and positively covaried with song pulse duration. Sexual selection was more intense on the bottom tegmen, conceivably because it interacts more freely with the subtegminal airspace, which may play a role in song amplification. An expanded coastal/subcostal region was one of the phenotypes strongly favoured by disruptive selection on the bottom tegmen, an adaptation that may form a more effective seal with the thorax to prevent noise cancellation. Directional selection also favoured increased symmetry in tegminal shape. Assuming more symmetrical males are better able to buffer against developmental noise, the song produced by these males may make them more attractive to females. Despite the strong stabilizing selection documented previously on the dominant frequency of the song, stabilizing selection on the resonator that regulates dominant frequency was surprisingly absent. Nonetheless, wing morphology had an important influence on song structure and appears to be subject to significant linear and nonlinear sexual selection through female mate choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-351
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • communication
  • fitness surface
  • fluctuating asymmetry
  • mate choice
  • selection gradient
  • sexual signals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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