SIMPLE VERSUS ELABORATE BEHAVIOR IN GRASSHOPPERS AN ANALYSIS OF COMMUNICATION IN THE GENUS SYRBULA by DANIEL OTTE (Department of Zoology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.) INTRODUCTION The two North American grasshoppers, SyybuLa adl1Ûrabilis and S. fuscovittata (Acrididae, Gomphocerinae) may possess some of the most elaborate courtship behavior known in insects, and they are certainly unsurpassed among the Orthoptera. Not only do they employ more body parts, but the total number of patterns of movement performed greatly exceeds that observed in other grasshoppers, even though the contexts in which communication occurs are not significantly different. There are no ecological factors evident which could account for this complexity ; other species which live in the same habitat display the simplest forms of reproductive behavior (OTTE, 1970). Some differences in communicative behavior very likely serve to prevent interspecific interactions and others are clearly correlated with environmental differences, but much of the considerable diversity in communicative behavior, especially among grasshoppers with seemingly very similar life histories, leads one to believe that some of the differences may have no adaptive significance. This is not to say that the behavior of each species is adaptively neutral, but simply that each represents an alternative
Behaviour – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1972
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