Quantitative genetics of sexual selection in the field cricket, Gryllus integer

Major theories of sexual selection predict heritable variation in female preferences and male traits and a positive genetic correlation between preference and trait. Here we show that female Texas field crickets, Gryllus integer, have heritable genetic variation for the male calling song stimulus level that produces the greatest phonotactic response. Approximately 34% of the variation in female preferences was due to additive genetic effects. Female choosiness, that is, the strength of the female response to her most preferred stimulus relative to her average response to all stimuli, did not show significant genetic effects. The male calling song character was not related to male size or age but did show significant genetic effects. Approximately 39% of the variation in the number of pulses per trill was due to additive genetic variation. The genetic correlation estimated for the field population was 0.51 ± 0.17. The number of pulses per trill produced by males is under stabilizing sexual selection.