Quantitative genetics of female choice in an ultrasonic pyralid moth, Achroia grisella: Variation and evolvability of preference along multiple dimensions of the male advertisement signal

Yikweon Jang, Michael D. Greenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mating system of Achroia grisella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is characterized by male ultrasonic advertisement signalling to which females orientate. Although males provide no direct, somatic benefits to their mates, females prefer males whose signal characters are more exaggerated than the population means. Previous studies showed that the signal characters influencing mate attraction are highly repeatable and heritable. We measured the phenotypic and additive genetic variances (heritability) of female preference in A. grisella, as this additive genetic variance is one of the genetic assumptions of indirect models of sexual selection. We determined the preference index of female A. grisella by repeated phonotaxis trials in which a choice of simulated male signals was presented. These playback experiments showed that female preference indices varied but were repeatable within individuals. Specifically, females differ in the relative importance of the several signal characters during mate assessment. A subsequent half-sib breeding design revealed an amount of additive genetic variance for the female preference index (h(s)/2 = 0.212, SE = 0.1347, P = 0.0611; CV(A) = 0.1826). Our study highlights the importance of careful preparation of test signals and experimental design for quantifying individual variation in (female) preference along multiple signal dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalHeredity
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000

Keywords

  • Acoustic communication
  • Female preference
  • Indirect sexual selection

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