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.

"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, Michael G. Ritchie, Marlene Zuk, Nathan W. 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 August 21, 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 August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) — South Koreans eat more instant ramen noodles per capita than anywhere else in the world. But American researchers say eating too much may increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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