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Proc Biol Sci. 2000 Jun 22;267(1449):1171-5.

Male calling song provides a reliable signal of immune function in a cricket.

Author information

1
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK. jonryder_ie@yahoo.com

Abstract

A critical prediction of the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis is that the expression of secondary sexual traits should be positively correlated with pathogen resistance ability This correlation is necessary if females are to be able to use a particular sexual trait as an indicator of a male's resistance ability. In this study we document a positive correlation between a sexually selected component of the calling song of male house crickets (the number of syllables per chirp) and haemocyte load, an important determinant of the ability to encapsulate pathogens in insects. The results indicate that, by favouring males which produce more syllables per chirp, females may also select males with higher pathogen resistance ability, potentially generating either direct or indirect selection on female mating preferences.

PMID:
10902682
PMCID:
PMC1690662
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2000.1125
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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