Geographical variation in calling song of the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus: the importance of spatial scale


Marlene Zuk, Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Tel.: +1-909-787-3952; fax: +1-909-787-4286; e-mail:


We compared calling songs of the field cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus from 15 sites within six regions of two continental areas, Oceania and Australia. The cricket was introduced to Hawaii, where it is subject to an acoustically orienting parasitoid fly not found elsewhere in its range. In a principal components analysis (PCA) of song from all populations combined, the first five components had eigenvalues greater than one, and collectively accounted for over 80% of the total variation. Means for all song components varied significantly among sites, and different components varied at the three levels of analysis (continent, region and site). The principal way in which sites differed was along a gradient in increasing song length, pulse duration and intervals between song elements. Crickets from Oceania had a significantly greater variance in their song than Australian crickets, driven largely by the high variance in Hawaii. Geography explained a substantial amount of variation in song, despite the likelihood of serial bottlenecks having occurred as the species moved from island to island. Because female crickets appear not to focus on the short chirp as a component of mate choice, a lack of selection may allow this song component to vary more widely.