Habitat complexity and complex signal function – exploring the role of ornamentation

Dustin Wilgers, J. Colton Watts & Eileen Hebets
Animals often communicate in complex, heterogeneous environments, leading to hypothesized selection for increased detectability or discriminability in signaling traits. The extent to which secondary sexual ornaments have evolved to overcome the challenges of signaling in complex environments, however, remains understudied, especially in comparison to their role as indicator traits. This study tested the hypothesis that the condition-dependent secondary sexual ornamentation in the wolf spider Rabidosa rabida functions to increase detectability/discriminability in visually complex environments. We...
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