Sounds different: inbreeding depression in sexually selected traits in the cricket Teleogryllus commodus


Jean Drayton, School of Botany and Zoology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
Tel.: +61 2 61255647; fax: +61 2 61255573;


If male sexual signalling is honest because it captures genetic variation in condition then traits that are important mate choice cues should be disproportionately affected by inbreeding relative to other traits. To test this, we investigated the effect of brother–sister mating on advertisement calling by male field crickets Teleogryllus commodus. We quantified the effect of one generation of inbreeding on nightly calling effort and five finer-scale aspects of call structure that have been shown to influence attractiveness. We also quantified inbreeding depression on six life history traits and one morphological trait. Inbreeding significantly reduced hatching success, nymph survival and adult lifespan but had no detectable effect on hatching rate, developmental rate or adult body mass. The effect of inbreeding on sexually selected traits was equivocal. There was no decline in calling effort (seconds of sound production/night) by inbred males, but there were highly significant changes in three of five finer-scale call parameters. Sexually selected traits clearly vary in their susceptibility to inbreeding depression.