Can microhabitat selection explain sex-related colour morph frequencies in the grasshopper Acrida conica Fabricius?
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Green—brown colour polymorphism is common in the genus Acrida (Rowell 1971), and in the Australian species A. conica green and brown morphs occur sympatrically. Nymphs show significant associations between morph and sex, more female grasshoppers being green. This association occurs less frequently in adults (Garlinge et al. 1991). Acrida conica can also change colour at a moult depending on stimuli in its microhabitat (M. C. Calver, unpublished data), as can some congenerics (Rowell 1971). Here, we test the hypothesis of Garlinge et al (1991) that the sex—morph association is caused by microhabitat selection by the sexes. if this were so, females would select green grass whose microenvironment would cause them to moult into the green morph, while males would choose brown backgrounds, ultimately leading to brown grasshoppers. One of us (Calver 1985) presented preliminary results which suggested that substrate matching occurred in A. conica, but the approach used then prevented assessment of sex differences.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Biological and Environmental Sciences|
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