Event Title

Complex Transitive Mate Preferences In Enchenopa binotata Treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae)

Presenter Information

Sara Seidita

Mentor 1

Rafael Rodriguez

Mentor 2

Bretta Speck

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Mate choice is a crucial decision for females. Mate choice decisions are based on mate preference functions, which are curves that describe the relationship between the attractiveness of sexual ornaments and variation in their features. One possibility for how mate choice decisions relate to preference functions involves transitivity, whereby females always select the male with the preferred traits when in the presence of non-preferred or low quality males. A competing alternative — with support from humans and some vertebrates — involves intransitivity, whereby mate preferences may be reversed according to the suite of alternatives present. We tested the transitive and intransitive mate choice hypotheses with Enchenopa binotata treehoppers. Using vibrational playback stimuli that varied in frequency and whine length, we presented females with preferred and non-preferred males in the presence or absence of high quality and low quality decoy males. We found that females selected the preferred males over the non-preferred males regardless of the presence or quality of the decoy. These findings show that Enchenopa treehoppers use transitive mate choice.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Complex Transitive Mate Preferences In Enchenopa binotata Treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae)

Union Wisconsin Room

Mate choice is a crucial decision for females. Mate choice decisions are based on mate preference functions, which are curves that describe the relationship between the attractiveness of sexual ornaments and variation in their features. One possibility for how mate choice decisions relate to preference functions involves transitivity, whereby females always select the male with the preferred traits when in the presence of non-preferred or low quality males. A competing alternative — with support from humans and some vertebrates — involves intransitivity, whereby mate preferences may be reversed according to the suite of alternatives present. We tested the transitive and intransitive mate choice hypotheses with Enchenopa binotata treehoppers. Using vibrational playback stimuli that varied in frequency and whine length, we presented females with preferred and non-preferred males in the presence or absence of high quality and low quality decoy males. We found that females selected the preferred males over the non-preferred males regardless of the presence or quality of the decoy. These findings show that Enchenopa treehoppers use transitive mate choice.