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Positive Relationship between Signalling Time and Flight Capability in the Texas Field Cricket, Gryllus texensis


Susan M. Bertram, Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 7B6. E-mail:


A trade-off between dispersal ability and reproduction is generally thought to explain the persistence of wing dimorphism in insects, although this trade-off has received minimal attention in male insects. Research on male sand cricket, Gryllus firmus, supports the trade-off hypothesis insofar as flight capable cricket’s spend significantly less time signalling for potential mates than their flightless counterparts. By contrast, here I show that this expected trade-off between signalling time and wing dimorphism does not exist in a male congener, the Texas field cricket (Gryllus texensis). In G. texensis, flight capable males signal twice as often as flightless males. Thus, unless male G. texensis express trade-offs between dispersal ability and other, presently unmeasured components of reproduction, the trade-off hypothesis may not explain the persistence of wing dimorphism in all male insects.