Selection acts differently on animals in captivity compared to those in natural conditions. As a result, individuals bred in captivity for many generations may exhibit traits that greatly differ from their wild counterparts. We decided to use The Common House Cricket, Acheta domesticus, as our study species because they are found feral in most of the United States and have also been extensively bred for live pet food. As such, they are ideal candidates to observe the effects of relaxed selection. Male crickets produce a song to attract females. In the overcrowded conditions of captivity, there is much less selective pressure for females to be responsive to male song. Therefore, we hypothesize that captive female individuals are less sensitive to sound and so will respond more slowly to male song.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Zuk, Marlene; Tan, Xinci.
Effects of relaxed selection on female response to male song in crickets (Acheta domesticus).
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