Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natural Science and Mathematics, Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Robin M. Tinghitella

Second Advisor

Norman Lee

Third Advisor

Jonathan P. Velotta

Fourth Advisor

Erica Larson


Behavior, Natural selection, Neurophysiology, Ormia ochracea, Rapid evolution, Teleogryllus oceanicus


The diversification of animal communication systems is driven by many interacting factors. Unintended receivers play an important part in this process, yet little is known about their role in signal evolution. Flies of the genus Ormia are parasitoids of crickets and rely on acoustic cues to locate hosts. In Hawaii, selection imposed by Ormia ochracea has led to recent and rapid diversification in the songs of their host. Here, we compare neural and behavioral responses of Hawaiian flies to those of an ancestral population to understand the role of parasitoid sensory and behavioral variation in the evolution of host songs. We demonstrate evolved differences in the auditory tuning and behavioral responses of Hawaiian flies that are likely facilitating the detection of the novel songs. This work heeds the recent call for better integration of the sensory and cognitive mechanisms of receivers into our understanding of the evolution of animal communication.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Aaron W. Wikle


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

48 pgs


Ecology, Evolution and development, Neurosciences

Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024