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Multimodal communication in courting fiddler crabs reveals male performance capacities

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Courting males often perform different behavioural displays that demonstrate aspects of their quality. Male fiddler crabs, Uca sp., are well known for their repetitive claw-waving display during courtship. However, in some species, males produce an additional signal by rapidly stridulating their claw, creating a ‘drumming’ vibrational signal through the substrate as a female approaches, and even continue to drum once inside their burrow. Here, we show that the switch from waving to drumming might provide additional information to the female about the quality of a male, and the properties of his burrow (multiple message hypothesis). Across males there was, however, a strong positive relationship between aspects of their waving and drumming displays, suggesting that drumming adheres to some predictions of the redundant signal hypothesis for multimodal signalling. In field experiments, we show that recent courtship is associated with a significant reduction in male sprint speed, which is commensurate with an oxygen debt. Even so, males that wave and drum more vigorously than their counterparts have a higher sprint speed. Drumming appears to be an energetically costly multimodal display of quality that females should attend to when making their mate choice decisions.

No MeSH data available.


The performance capacities (sprint speeds over 50 cm) of males that had courted and control males 2 h, 1 h or immediately after displaying. Error bars represent standard errors.
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RSOS161093F2: The performance capacities (sprint speeds over 50 cm) of males that had courted and control males 2 h, 1 h or immediately after displaying. Error bars represent standard errors.

Mentions: Control males had significantly higher sprint speeds than males that had just courted (F1,290 = 16.567, p < 0.001; figure 2). There was, however, a significant difference between the two types of males in how sprint speed changed over the three trials (F2,290 = 4.247, p = 0.015). There was no difference in sprint speed between control and recently courting males immediately after capture (Trial 1: F1,145 = 2.616, p = 0.108). However, 1 or 2 h later recently courting males sprinted significantly more slowly than control males (Trial 2: F1,145 = 18.06, p < 0.001; Trial 3: F1,145 = 14.84, p < 0.001).Figure 2.


Multimodal communication in courting fiddler crabs reveals male performance capacities
The performance capacities (sprint speeds over 50 cm) of males that had courted and control males 2 h, 1 h or immediately after displaying. Error bars represent standard errors.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5383853&req=5

RSOS161093F2: The performance capacities (sprint speeds over 50 cm) of males that had courted and control males 2 h, 1 h or immediately after displaying. Error bars represent standard errors.
Mentions: Control males had significantly higher sprint speeds than males that had just courted (F1,290 = 16.567, p < 0.001; figure 2). There was, however, a significant difference between the two types of males in how sprint speed changed over the three trials (F2,290 = 4.247, p = 0.015). There was no difference in sprint speed between control and recently courting males immediately after capture (Trial 1: F1,145 = 2.616, p = 0.108). However, 1 or 2 h later recently courting males sprinted significantly more slowly than control males (Trial 2: F1,145 = 18.06, p < 0.001; Trial 3: F1,145 = 14.84, p < 0.001).Figure 2.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Courting males often perform different behavioural displays that demonstrate aspects of their quality. Male fiddler crabs, Uca sp., are well known for their repetitive claw-waving display during courtship. However, in some species, males produce an additional signal by rapidly stridulating their claw, creating a &lsquo;drumming&rsquo; vibrational signal through the substrate as a female approaches, and even continue to drum once inside their burrow. Here, we show that the switch from waving to drumming might provide additional information to the female about the quality of a male, and the properties of his burrow (multiple message hypothesis). Across males there was, however, a strong positive relationship between aspects of their waving and drumming displays, suggesting that drumming adheres to some predictions of the redundant signal hypothesis for multimodal signalling. In field experiments, we show that recent courtship is associated with a significant reduction in male sprint speed, which is commensurate with an oxygen debt. Even so, males that wave and drum more vigorously than their counterparts have a higher sprint speed. Drumming appears to be an energetically costly multimodal display of quality that females should attend to when making their mate choice decisions.

No MeSH data available.