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Behavioral sterility of hybrid males in acoustically communicating grasshoppers (Acrididae, Gomphocerinae).

Authors
  • Gottsberger, Brigitte
  • Mayer, Frieder
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2007
Volume
193
Issue
7
Pages
703–714
Identifiers
PMID: 17440734
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The effectiveness of hybridization barriers determines whether two species remain reproductively isolated when their populations come into contact. We investigated acoustic mating signals and associated leg movements responsible for song creation of hybrids between the grasshopper species Chorthippus biguttulus and C. brunneus to study whether and how songs of male hybrids contribute to reproductive isolation between these sympatrically occurring species. Songs of F1, F2, and backcross hybrids were intermediate between those of both parental species in terms phrase number and duration. In contrast, species-specific syllable structure within phrases was largely lost in hybrids and was produced, if at all, in an irregular and imperfect manner. These divergences in inheritance of different song parameters are likely the result of incompatibility of neuronal networks that control stridulatory leg movements in hybrids. It is highly probable that songs of hybrid males are unattractive to females of either parental species because they are intermediate in terms of phrase duration and lack a clear syllable structure. Males of various hybrid types (F1, F2, and backcrosses) are behaviorally sterile because their songs fail to attract mates.

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