Matching Items (19)

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Regional Genetic Distance of Two Ephemeral Pool Crustaceans:Triops (Branchiopoda:Notostraca) and Streptocephalus (Branchiopoda: Anostraca)

Description

Triops (Branchiopoda: Notostraca) and Streptocephalus (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) are two crustaceans which cohabitate in ephemeral freshwater pools. They both lay desiccation resistant eggs that disperse passively to new hydrologically isolated environments.

Triops (Branchiopoda: Notostraca) and Streptocephalus (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) are two crustaceans which cohabitate in ephemeral freshwater pools. They both lay desiccation resistant eggs that disperse passively to new hydrologically isolated environments. The extent of genetic distance among regions and populations is of perennial interest in animals that live in such isolated habitats. Populations in six natural ephemeral pool habitats located in two different regions of the Sonoran Desert and a transition area between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts were sampled. Sequences from Genbank were used for reference points in the determination of species as well as to further identify regional genetic distance within species. This study estimated the amount of within and between genetic distance of individuals from each region and population through the use of a neutral marker, cytochrome oxidase I (COI). We concluded that, although the method of passive dispersal may differ between the two genera, the differences do not results in different patterns of genetic distances between regions and populations. Furthermore, we only found the putative species, Triops longicaudatus "short", with enough distinct speciation. Although Triops longicaudatus "long" and Triops newberryi may be in the early stages of speciation, this study does not find enough support to conclude that they have separated.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Heritability of Elaborate Coloration in the Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor

Description

Two primary contexts for the adaptive evolution of bright coloration are competition for mates (i.e. mate choice) and avoiding predator attacks (i.e. warning coloration). Bright animal coloration can be iridescent,

Two primary contexts for the adaptive evolution of bright coloration are competition for mates (i.e. mate choice) and avoiding predator attacks (i.e. warning coloration). Bright animal coloration can be iridescent, in which the surface appears to change color with changing viewing or illumination angle. Bright animal coloration can also be produced by pigments, which do not appear to change color with changing viewing or illumination angle. The Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor, is unique in having both sexual signals and warning coloration that include iridescent and pigment components, both of which are variable in color. The aim of our study was to examine the role genes play in producing this variation, providing us a sense of potential indirect benefits of female choice. We tested the hypothesis that color variation has a genetic component. We predicted that in a full-sib analysis there should be greater variation in the coloration of the sexual and warning signal among families than within families. We reared B. philenor under standard laboratory conditions and analyzed heritability using a full-sib analysis. We collected reflectance measurements for components of the sexual and warning signal iridescence using a spectrophotometer and used CLR (color analysis software) to extract brightness, hue, and chroma values. We used a multivariate ANOVA (IBM SPSS, v. 21) to analyze the warning signal variation, and a generalized linear mixed model (IBM SPSS, v. 21) to analyze the sexual versus warning signal variation in males. A significance value of 0.05 was used for both analyses. Our results indicated a genetic component to coloration, implicating indirect benefits in B. philenor female mate bias. Further research on bright coloration in B. philenor indicates that there may also be direct benefits of female mate choice.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Symbiotic state & reproduction in the giant green sea anemone Anthopleura xanthogrammica

Description

The giant green sea anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica, hosts two different endosymbiotic algae. One is a unicellular chlorophyte, Elliptochloris marina; the other is Symbiodinium muscatinei, a dinoflagellate. Hosting these different symbionts

The giant green sea anemone, Anthopleura xanthogrammica, hosts two different endosymbiotic algae. One is a unicellular chlorophyte, Elliptochloris marina; the other is Symbiodinium muscatinei, a dinoflagellate. Hosting these different symbionts influences the life history strategy of A. xanthogrammica's congener A. elegantissima, directly impacting its reproductive strategy (asexual vs. sexual). My study sought to examine whether the type and density of symbiont also affects the reproductive condition of A. xanthogrammica, which reproduces only sexually. Gonad development was measured in anemones from Slip Point, Clallam Bay, WA and Tongue Point, WA along with symbiont type and density per mg of anemone protein. The results indicate a trend towards brown anemones having more developed gonads, especially in males. This may mean that A. xanthogrammica anemones that host zooxanthellae are more reproductively fit than zoochlorellate anemones. Thus, it may be favorable for anemones to host zooxanthellae. This is especially true in summer months when the high temperatures and mid-day low tides coincide with the period of most rapid gonad development.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Human Auditory Biases Match Natural Regularities Found With Animal Calls

Description

Human perceptual dimensions of sound are not necessarily simple representations of the actual physical dimensions that make up sensory input. In particular, research on the perception of interactions between acoustic

Human perceptual dimensions of sound are not necessarily simple representations of the actual physical dimensions that make up sensory input. In particular, research on the perception of interactions between acoustic frequency and intensity has shown that people exhibit a bias to expect the perception of pitch and loudness to change together. Researchers have proposed that this perceptual bias occurs because sound sources tend to follow a natural regularity of a correlation between changes in intensity and frequency of sound. They postulate that the auditory system has adapted to expect this naturally occurring relationship to facilitate auditory scene analysis, the tracking and parsing sources of sound as listeners analyze their auditory environments. However, this correlation has only been tested with human speech and musical sounds. The current study explores if animal sounds also exhibit the same natural correlation between intensity and frequency and tests if people exhibit a perceptual bias to assume this correlation when listening to animal calls. Our principal hypotheses are that animal sounds will tend to exhibit a positive correlation between intensity and frequency and that, when hearing such sounds change in intensity, listeners will perceive them to also change in frequency and vice versa. Our tests with 21 animal calls and 8 control stimuli along with our experiment with participants responding to these stimuli supported these hypotheses. This research provides a further example of coupling of perceptual biases with natural regularities in the auditory domain, and provides a framework for understanding perceptual biases as functional adaptations that help perceivers more accurately anticipate and utilize reliable natural patterns to enhance scene analyses in real world environments.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Cognition and personality in male veiled chameleons, Chamaeleo calyptratus

Description

Historically, the study of cognition has focused on species-specific learning, memory, problem-solving and decision-making capabilities, and emphasis was placed on the few high-performing individuals who successfully completed cognitive tasks. Studies

Historically, the study of cognition has focused on species-specific learning, memory, problem-solving and decision-making capabilities, and emphasis was placed on the few high-performing individuals who successfully completed cognitive tasks. Studies often deemed the success of a small fraction of individuals as suggestive of the cognitive capacity of the entire species. Recently though, interest in individual variation in cognitive ability within species has increased. This interest has emerged concomitantly with studies of variation in animal personalities (i.e. behavioral syndromes). Cognitive ability may be closely tied to personality because the mechanisms by which an individual perceives and uses environmental input (cognition) should influence how that individual consistently responds to various ecological demands (personality). However, empirical support for links between animal cognition and behavioral syndromes is currently lacking. I examined individual variation in cognition and personality in male veiled chameleons, Chamaeleo calyptratus. I considered three axes of personality (aggression, activity, and exploratory behavior) and cognition in a foraging context using visual cues − specifically, the ability to associate a color with a food reward. I found that aggression was positively correlated with the proportion of correct choices and number of consecutive correct choices. Also, one measure of exploration (the number of vines touched in a novel environment) was correlated negatively with the proportion of correct choices and positively with the number of consecutive incorrect decisions. My investigation suggests that more aggressive, less exploratory chameleons were more successful learners, and that there exists a shared pathway between these personality traits and cognitive ability.

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Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Pigeon Iridescence: Physical and Functional Properties

Description

Rock Doves (Columba livia), also known as pigeons, are a common sight to city dwellers around the world. Often overlooked as urban pests, these birds have intriguing iridescent coloration on

Rock Doves (Columba livia), also known as pigeons, are a common sight to city dwellers around the world. Often overlooked as urban pests, these birds have intriguing iridescent coloration on their necks that has been the subject of few studies. Previous studies have documented the multimodal reflectance spectra of the iridescence and the keratin cortex microstructures responsible for those properties, but do not address questions about the biological context of this coloration. In this study, I explore the factors that affect how this directional signal might appear to intended receivers (assumed to be females). Pigeon neck feathers were obtained from captive-raised birds and measured for reflectance values at numerous angles in the hemisphere above the feather to obtain a directional reflectance distribution. Each feather was mounted individually, and measurements were taken at a consistent location on the feather using a spectrophotometer; the collector was positioned directly above the feather, while we moved the light source in both azimuth and elevation on a Carden arm to simulate changes in pigeon movements during courtship. Depending on the elevation and azimuth of the light source, pigeon neck feathers shift in appearance from green to purple, with an accompanying shift in the location and intensity of reflectance peaks. Additionally, this unique coloration is due to multiple reflectance peaks in the avian vision field between 300 and 700nm. These data coupled with qualitative behavioral observations of Rock Dove courtship inform our understanding of how the color signal is displayed and how it appears to a potential mate; as a female observes the movements in a male courtship display, properties of the iridescence utilize multiple viewing angles to create a dynamic color array.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Flight Morphology, Compound Eye Structure and Dispersal in the Bog and the Cranberry Fritillary Butterflies: An Inter- and Intraspecific Comparison

Description

Understanding dispersal is of prime importance in conservation and population biology. Individual traits related to motion and navigation during dispersal may differ: (1) among species differing in habitat distribution, which

Understanding dispersal is of prime importance in conservation and population biology. Individual traits related to motion and navigation during dispersal may differ: (1) among species differing in habitat distribution, which in turn, may lead to interspecific differences in the potential for and costs of dispersal, (2) among populations of a species that experiences different levels of habitat fragmentation; (3) among individuals differing in their dispersal strategy and (4) between the sexes due to sexual differences in behaviour and dispersal tendencies. In butterflies, the visual system plays a central role in dispersal, but exactly how the visual system is related to dispersal has received far less attention than flight morphology. We studied two butterfly species to explore the relationships between flight and eye morphology, and dispersal. We predicted interspecific, intraspecific and intersexual differences for both flight and eye morphology relative to i) species-specific habitat distribution, ii) variation in dispersal strategy within each species and iii) behavioural differences between sexes. However, we did not investigate for potential population differences. We found: (1) sexual differences that presumably reflect different demands on both male and female visual and flight systems, (2) a higher wing loading (i.e. a proxy for flight performance), larger eyes and larger facet sizes in the frontal and lateral region of the eye (i.e. better navigation capacities) in the species inhabiting naturally fragmented habitat compared to the species inhabiting rather continuous habitat, and (3) larger facets in the frontal region in dispersers compared to residents within a species. Hence, dispersers may have similar locomotory capacity but potentially better navigation capacity. Dispersal ecology and evolution have attracted much attention, but there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the mechanisms of dispersal. Unfortunately, for many species we lack detailed information on the role of behavioural, morphological and physiological traits for dispersal. Our novel study supports the existence of inter- and intra-specific evolutionary responses in both motion and navigation capacities (i.e. flight and eye morphology) linked to dispersal.

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Date Created
  • 2016-06-23

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Mate detection in a territorial butterfly-the effect of background and luminance contrast

Description

Many animals search for potential mates or prey using a perch-and-sally strategy. The success of such a strategy will depend on factors that affect the observer’s ability to detect a

Many animals search for potential mates or prey using a perch-and-sally strategy. The success of such a strategy will depend on factors that affect the observer’s ability to detect a passing resource item. Intrinsic factors (e.g., eye structure and physiology) have received much recent attention, but less is known about effects on object detection in nature and extrinsic factors such as size, coloration, and speed of a passing object and the background against which the object is viewed. Here, we examine how background affects the detection of butterfly models by perched males of the butterfly Asterocampa leilia in the field. We test the hypothesis that male choice of perch site in nature will influence the contrast between the object and background against which it is viewed and that this will influence success in detecting the object. We also test the effect of contrast by manipulating the brightness of the object and presenting butterfly models of different reflectance (ranging from black to white). We found an effect of model luminance, with dark models being most likely to elicit a response regardless of background. Further, there was an effect of background type with models viewed against blue sky eliciting the highest response. Perceived luminance contrast correlates to behavior; highly contrasting objects are more frequently detected. This study expands our understanding of visual system performance and has implications for our understanding of the behavior and evolutionary ecology of perching species.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05-01

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Male wing color properties predict the size of nuptial gifts given during mating in the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor)

Description

In many animals, males bear bright ornamental color patches that may signal both the direct and indirect benefits that a female might accrue from mating with him. Here we test

In many animals, males bear bright ornamental color patches that may signal both the direct and indirect benefits that a female might accrue from mating with him. Here we test whether male coloration in the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor, predicts two potential direct benefits for females: brief copulation duration and the quantity of materials the male passes to the female during mating. In this species, males have a bright iridescent blue field on the dorsal hindwing surface, while females have little or no dorsal iridescence. Females preferentially mate with males who display a bright and highly chromatic blue field on their dorsal hindwing. In this study, we show that the chroma of the blue field on the male dorsal hindwing and male body size (forewing length) significantly predict the mass of material or spermatophore that a male forms within the female's copulatory sac during mating. We also found that spermatophore mass correlated negatively with copulation duration, but that color variables did not significantly predict this potential direct benefit. These results suggest that females may enhance the material benefits they receive during mating by mating with males based on the coloration of their dorsal hindwing.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Mechanistic Diversity in Long-Range Regulation of Worker Reproduction in Polydomous Ant Species

Description

Ant colonies provide numerous opportunities to study communication systems that maintain the cohesion of eusocial groups. In many ant species, workers have retained their ovaries and the ability to produce

Ant colonies provide numerous opportunities to study communication systems that maintain the cohesion of eusocial groups. In many ant species, workers have retained their ovaries and the ability to produce male offspring; however, they generally refrain from producing their own sons when a fertile queen is present in the colony. Although mechanisms that facilitate the communication of the presence of a fertile queen to all members of the colony have been highly studied, those studies have often overlooked the added challenge faced by polydomous species, which divide their nests across as many as one hundred satellite nests resulting in workers potentially having infrequent contact with the queen. In these polydomous contexts, regulatory phenotypes must extend beyond the immediate spatial influence of the queen.

This work investigates mechanisms that can extend the spatial reach of fertility signaling and reproductive regulation in three polydomous ant species. In Novomessor cockerelli, the presence of larvae but not eggs is shown to inhibit worker reproduction. Then, in Camponotus floridanus, 3-methylheptacosane found on the queen cuticle and queen-laid eggs is verified as a releaser pheromone sufficient to disrupt normally occurring aggressive behavior toward foreign workers. Finally, the volatile and cuticular hydrocarbon pheromones present on the cuticle of Oecophylla smaragdina queens are shown to release strong attraction response by workers; when coupled with previous work, this result suggests that these chemicals may underly both the formation of a worker retinue around the queen as well as egg-located mechanisms of reproductive regulation in distant satellite nests. Whereas most previous studies have focused on the short-range role of hydrocarbons on the cuticle of the queen, these studies demonstrate that eusocial insects may employ longer range regulatory mechanisms. Both queen volatiles and distributed brood can extend the range of queen fertility signaling, and the use of larvae for fertility signaling suggest that feeding itself may be a non-chemical mechanism for reproductive regulation. Although trail laying in mass-recruiting ants is often used as an example of complex communication, reproductive regulation in ants may be a similarly complex example of insect communication, especially in the case of large, polydomous ant colonies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020