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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Form, function and social context of substrate-borne vibrational signals in the treehopper, Umbonia crassicornis
by Losinger, Michael Joseph, Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2016, 122; 10246585
Abstract (Summary)

Substrate-borne vibrational signals are emitted by males and females of the treehopper species, Umbonia crassicornis in a variety of contexts throughout their lives. The goal of this research was to investigate variation in signal structure in these various contexts in order to identify the specific functions of distinct signals. We report a number of previously undescribed behaviors and signals in this species, including male pre-copulatory genital scraping, a possible female rejection signal, and a competitive male masking signal. In addition to these observations, our experiments resulted in 4 major findings: (1) females provide cues within their responses concerning their degree of attraction to male calls, (2) males eavesdrop on duets emitted by competing males and receptive females, (3) males emit distinct signals in competitive interactions which function as masking calls, and (4) the duration and temporal context of antipredator signals in females vary with reproductive status and offspring development. Our findings reveal that vibrational signals mediate conspecific interactions at every stage of adult life in U. crassicornis. The temporal and spectral qualities of these signals undergo distinct changes in different contexts and in response to different stimuli, likely providing receivers with information on a signaler’s intensions.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miles, Carol I.
Commitee: Clark, Anne B., Miles, Carol I., Miles, Ron, Shepherd, Julian, Stoever, Jennifer
School: State University of New York at Binghamton
Department: Biological Sciences
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biology, Entomology
Keywords: Behavioral ecology, Insect communication, Substrate-borne, Vibrational signaling
Publication Number: 10246585
ISBN: 978-1-369-47878-5
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