Signaling effort does not predict aggressiveness in male spring field crickets
The relationship between signaling and aggression is still unclear despite several decades of research. However, there is a growing interest in studying signals that predict aggressive behavior or fighting ability. The goals of our study were threefold: we investigated the relationship between signaling effort and aggression, the relationship between body condition and aggression, and the effect of fighting experience on subsequent signaling behavior in wild-caught and laboratory-reared male spring field crickets (Gryllus veletis). We found that aggressive behavior was not related to signaling effort, body size, or body condition. For contest winners, wild-captured males were more aggressive than laboratory-reared males. Signaling effort was highly repeatable within individuals, but aggressive behavior had low repeatability. We found no evidence for a winner or loser effect on signaling; there was no change in signaling effort when we compared contest winners and losers before and after they participated in aggressive contests. Long-distance acoustic signaling and aggressive behavior appear to be independent of one another in spring field crickets, perhaps serving different functions in female attraction and male–male competition, respectively.