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Environmental condition-dependent effects on a heritable, preferred male trait.


Models for the evolution of female mating preferences suggest that preferred male traits may be condition-dependent. In the field cricket, Gryllus integer, a preferred male trait (calling-bout duration) shows high additive genetic variance. Here, I demonstrate that this preferred trait is also condition-dependent. Under food deprivation, males lose body mass and correspondingly shorten the durations of their calling bouts. This implies that females might be able to gain cues from calling-bout durations about a male’s body condition.

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