Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

There's more than one way to silence a cricket: Co-evolution of crickets who lost their chirp

Date:
May 29, 2014
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
For most of us, crickets are probably most recognizable by the distinctive chirping sounds males make with their wings to lure females. But some crickets living on the islands of Hawaii have effectively lost their instruments and don't make their music anymore. Now researchers report that crickets living on different islands quieted their wings in different ways at almost the same time.

This is a flatwing cricket.
Credit: Nathan Bailey

For most of us, crickets are probably most recognizable by the distinctive chirping sounds males make with their wings to lure females. But some crickets living on the islands of Hawaii have effectively lost their instruments and don't make their music anymore. Now researchers report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 29 that crickets living on different islands quieted their wings in different ways at almost the same time.

Related Articles


"There is more than one way to silence a cricket," says Nathan Bailey of the University of St Andrews. "Evolution by natural selection has produced similar adaptations from different genetic starting points in what appears to be the blink of an eye in evolutionary time."

In the Hawaiian crickets, silence arose amongst males as a way to hide from parasitoid flies that are attracted to male song. Fly larvae burrow into crickets, killing them within a week's time. Quiet crickets avoid those deadly flies and still manage to mate by positioning themselves near males in the population that do sing, Bailey explains.

At first, Bailey and his colleagues thought that silent flatwing crickets had arisen just once and subsequently migrated from one island to another. However, when they looked closely at the wings of crickets on the island of Kauai versus the island of Oahu, they noticed obvious differences in the crickets' forms.

Further experiments in the lab showed that the silent wings in both cricket populations could be traced to single, sex-linked genes. However, Sonia Pascoal, a postdoc in Bailey's laboratory, performed a genome-wide scan that showed that the genes responsible are linked to different genetic markers. Remarkably, the same trait arose at about the same time on two islands, but independently and in different underlying ways.

That makes the crickets a remarkable example of convergent evolution, the researchers say, and there is still a lot more to learn from them. Bailey's laboratory is now working to unravel the genes and developmental pathways involved, as well as their interactions with the rest of the cricket genome.

"This is an exciting opportunity to detect genomic evolution in real time in a wild system, which has usually been quite a challenge, owing to the long timescales over which evolution acts," Bailey adds. "With the crickets, we can act as relatively unobtrusive observers while the drama unfolds in the wild."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sonia Pascoal, Timothee Cezard, Aasta Eik-Nes, Karim Gharbi, Jagoda Majewska, Elizabeth Payne, MichaelG. Ritchie, Marlene Zuk, NathanW. Bailey. Rapid Convergent Evolution in Wild Crickets. Current Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.053

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "There's more than one way to silence a cricket: Co-evolution of crickets who lost their chirp." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529142442.htm>.
Cell Press. (2014, May 29). There's more than one way to silence a cricket: Co-evolution of crickets who lost their chirp. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529142442.htm
Cell Press. "There's more than one way to silence a cricket: Co-evolution of crickets who lost their chirp." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529142442.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins