ABS 2024
Behavioral isolation and species boundaries in Laupala crickets
Raunak Sen, Kerry L. Shaw. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States

The evolution of reproductive isolating barriers between populations are important for speciation. Behavioral isolation is an important barrier, where divergence in mating behavior prevent interspecies matings. How does behavioral isolation evolve and maintain species boundaries are important questions in evolutionary biology. We used a system of Hawaiian crickets of the genus Laupala to understand whether closely related species are behaviorally isolated. Species in this genus have different male songs and corresponding female preferences. We did no-choice mating trials between two allopatric sister species and found that they are completely reproductively isolated. Additionally, we observed that males tended to court heterospecific females, but females did not cooperate with them in the mating ritual, making female courtship behavior the gatekeeper of species boundaries. We also studied temporal calling activity in a different pair of closely related sympatric species and found that they diverge in calling times. Thus, we conclude that female mating behavior and male calling times are important in maintaining species boundaries in Laupala crickets.