The Role of Trait Reversal in Evolutionary Diversification: A Test Using Song Loss in Wild Crickets

Bailey, Nathan W. and Pascoal, Sonia and Montealegre-Z, Fernando (2019) The Role of Trait Reversal in Evolutionary Diversification: A Test Using Song Loss in Wild Crickets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (18). pp. 8941-8949. ISSN 0027-8424

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1818998116

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Abstract

The mechanisms underlying rapid macro evolution are controversial.One largely untested hypothesis that could inform this debate is that evolutionary reversals might release variation in vestigial traits, which then facilitate subsequent diversification. We evaluated this idea by testing key predictions about vestigial traits arising from sexual trait reversal in wild field crickets. In Hawaiian Teleogryllus oceanicus, the recent genetic loss of sound producing and amplifying structures on male wings eliminates their acoustic signals.Silence protects these ‘flatwing’ males from an acoustically orienting parasitoid and appears to have evolved independently more than once.Here we report that flatwing males show enhanced variation in vestigial resonator morphology under varied genetic backgrounds. Using laser Doppler vibrometry, we found that these vestigial sound-producing wing features resonate at highly variable acoustic frequencies well outside the normal range for this species. These results satisfy two important criteria for a mechanism driving rapid evolutionary diversification: sexual signal loss was accompanied by a release of vestigial morphological variants, and these could facilitate the rapid evolution of novel signal values. Widespread secondary trait losses have been inferred from fossil and phylogenetic evidence across numerous taxa, and our results suggest that such reversals could play a role in shaping historical patterns of diversification.

Keywords:acoustic communication, diversification, evolutionary rate, field cricket, sexual signal, trait loss
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C770 Biophysical Science
C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:35304
Deposited On:07 Mar 2019 15:37

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