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The Role of Vibrations in Population Divergence in the Red Mason Bee, Osmia bicornis

Title data

Conrad, Taina ; Ayasse, Manfred:
The Role of Vibrations in Population Divergence in the Red Mason Bee, Osmia bicornis.
In: Current Biology. Vol. 25 (2015) Issue 21 . - pp. 2819-2822.
ISSN 1879-0445
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.08.059

Abstract in another language

Differences in female preference for certain male characteristics can be a driving force for population divergence and speciation [1, 2, 3, 4]. During precopulation, females of the red mason bee, Osmia bicornis, choose suitable males based on, among other criteria, their thoracic vibrations [5]. These vibrations are thought to be a signal of a male’s fitness with females choosing the strongest males that can vibrate for the longest time [5]. The precise role of such vibrational signals, however, has not been determined by bioassays, and the vibrations might also play a role in species recognition [6]. There are two main subspecies of O. bicornis in Europe distinguishable only by a single morphological trait [7] (Figure S1). We therefore developed a new bioassay allowing us to impose the vibrations of one live male onto another in order to discern possible selective mate choice by females from O. bicornis originating from different regions of Europe. Females showed strong preference for males from their own region, and male vibrations were the main signal involved in this choice. Thus, vibrational signals encode not only fitness but also information about the region of origin indicating that divergence exists between the different European O. bicornis populations, which might ultimately lead to speciation. These results provide new insights into the scope of vibrational communication in bees, a group previously considered to rely predominantly on chemical signals [8, 9]. Our newly developed method should shed further light on many exciting questions concerning vibrational communication in bees and other animal taxa.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER148116
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 12:44
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 12:44
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48344