Does the environmental context of a signalling male influence his attractiveness?

Date

2008

Authors

Milner, Richard
Jennions, Michael
Backwell, Patricia

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Academic Press

Abstract

How sexually selected male signals and female sensory systems have evolved so that females can continue to detect and discriminate between potential mates in the face of environmental noise and changes in signaller density has been well studied for acoustic signals. Far less is known about visual signals. We examined the influence of the local signalling environment on male signal attractiveness in the fiddler crab Uca mjoebergi. We used custom-built robotic crabs in two-stimulus mate choice experiments. Females were presented with two identical signals produced in two different signalling environments (simple and complex). The conspicuousness/attractiveness of male claw waving was unaffected by the local environment (physical or social). Male U. mjoebergi appear to produce a signal that is highly conspicuous across a wide range of naturally occurring signalling environments and females seem to have a sensory system that is capable of coping with high levels of environmental noise.

Description

Keywords

Keywords: crab; female behavior; male behavior; mate choice; sensory system; sexual selection; signaling; Decapoda (Crustacea); Ocypodidae; Uca female choice; fiddler crab; signal conspicuousness; Uca mjoebergi; visual noise

Citation

Source

Animal Behaviour

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

License Rights

DOI

10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.07.014

Restricted until

2037-12-31