Journal article

Experimental evolution reveals that population density does not affect moth signalling behaviour and antennal morphology

Kita R Ashman, Kathryn B McNamara, Matthew RE Symonds



Population density can play a vital role in determining investment in reproductive behaviours and morphologies of invertebrates. Males reared in high-density environments, where competition is high but difficulties in locating mates are low, may invest more in reproductive structures associated with sperm competition such as testes, at the expense of those traits associated with mate location, such as antennae. In species where females advertise for mates, such as most moths, a high-density environment may also lead to a reduction in pheromonal signalling (calling) length and frequency as a result of high mate abundance. While such responses have been shown at the phenotypically plastic leve..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Craig Sherman and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. We also thank Cuong Huynh, Khanh Tran, Anthony Somers and Nick Porch for technical advice and assistance with microscopy. K.R.A. and M.R.E.S. were supported by funding from Deakin University. K.B.M. was supported by the Australian Research Council (DP110101163).