Costs and benefits of increased weapon size differ between sexes of the slender crayfish, Cherax dispar

Wilson, RS, James, RS, Bywater, C and Seebacher, F (2009) Costs and benefits of increased weapon size differ between sexes of the slender crayfish, Cherax dispar. Journal of Experimental Biology, 212 6: 853-858. doi:10.1242/jeb.024547

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Author Wilson, RS
James, RS
Bywater, C
Seebacher, F
Title Costs and benefits of increased weapon size differ between sexes of the slender crayfish, Cherax dispar
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2009-03
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.024547
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 212
Issue 6
Start page 853
End page 858
Total pages 6
Editor Julian A. T Dow
Steve Perry
Dr. Hans Hoppeler
Place of publication UK
Publisher The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
0608 Zoology
Abstract Unreliable signals of weapon strength are considered to be problematic for signalling theory and reliable signals are predicted to be the dominant form of signalling among conspecifics in nature. Previous studies have shown that males of the Australian freshwater crayfish (Cherax dispar) routinely use unreliable signals of strength whereas females use reliable signals of weapon strength. In this study, we examined the performance benefits of increased weapon (chela) size for both males and females of C. dispar. In addition, we investigated the possibility of functional trade-offs in weapon size by assessing the relationship between chela size and maximum escape swimming performance. We found males possessed larger and stronger chelae than females and the variance in chela force was greater for males than females. By contrast, females possessed greater absolute and body length-specific escape swimming speeds than males. Swimming speed was also negatively correlated with chela size for males but not females, suggesting that a functional trade-off exists for males only. Decreases in swimming speed with increases in weapon size suggest there could be important fitness costs associated with larger chelae. Larger weaponry of males may then act as a handicap ensuring large chelae are reliable signals of quality.
Keyword dishonest signals
dishonest signals
physical performance
signals of strength
weapon size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 15 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:29:06 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Biological Sciences