The evolution of complex signaling has often been explored by testing multiple functional hypotheses that vary in their underlying assumptions about how independent signal components provide selective benefits to offset the costs of their production. In the present study, we take a different approach to exploring the function of complexity per se. We test the hypothesis that increased vibratory signal complexity – based on both proportional and temporal patterning - provides selective benefits to courting male Schizocosa stridulans wolf spiders. In support of this hypothesis, all of our quantified metrics of vibratory signal complexity predicted the copulation success of male S. stridulans. The rate of visual signaling, which is mechanistically tied to vibratory signal production, was also associated with mating success. We additionally found evidence that males can dynamically adjust the complexity of their signaling. Together, our results suggest that complexity per se may be a target of female choice.
|Date made available
|11 Apr 2022