Two closely related wood-cricket species, Gryllus fultoni (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) and G. vernalis, produce similar calling songs, consisting of 3-pulse chirps. Analysis of field and laboratory recordings of calling songs showed that, after correction to a common temperature, there was a divergence in chirp and pulse rates between far allopatric populations of G. fultoni and populations sympatric with G. vernalis. To determine whether the divergence in calling songs potentially provides reproductive isolation between G. fultoni and G. vernalis throughout the temperature range over which these insects sing, we recorded calling songs of lab-reared G. fultoni and G. vernalis populations between 18 and 28°C. Mean chirp rate significantly differed between sympatric and far allopatric G. fultoni populations as well as between sympatric G. fultoni and G. vernalis populations. Although there was a significant difference in mean pulse rate between sympatric G. fultoni and G. vernalis populations, pulse rate did not differ between sympatric and far allopatric G. fultoni populations in the laboratory study. Considering the magnitudes of differences in calling song characters discriminated by females of G. fultoni and the mean differences and the variability in calling song characters between the two species, the joint difference in chirp and pulse rates may be adequate for species discrimination over most of the range at which these crickets breed.
- Calling song
- Gryllus fultoni
- Gryllus vernalis
- Reproductive character displacement
- Reproductive isolation