A trade-off between dispersal ability and reproduction is generally thought to explain the persistence of wing dimorphism in insects, although this trade-off has received minimal attention in male insects. Research on male sand cricket, Gryllus firmus, supports the trade-off hypothesis insofar as flight capable cricket's spend significantly less time signalling for potential mates than their flightless counterparts. By contrast, here I show that this expected trade-off between signalling time and wing dimorphism does not exist in a male congener, the Texas field cricket (Gryllus texensis). In G. texensis, flight capable males signal twice as often as flightless males. Thus, unless male G. texensis express trade-offs between dispersal ability and other, presently unmeasured components of reproduction, the trade-off hypothesis may not explain the persistence of wing dimorphism in all male insects.

Department of Biology

Bertram, S.M. (2007). Positive relationship between signalling time and flight capability in the Texas field cricket, Gryllus texensis. Ethology, 113(9), 875–880. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2007.01399.x