Friedensallee 37

Stahnsdorf, Germany

Friedensallee 37

Stahnsdorf, Germany
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Wulff N.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Lehmann A.W.,Friedensallee 37 | Hipsley C.A.,Museum fur Naturkunde | Hipsley C.A.,University of Melbourne | Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Arthropod Structure and Development | Year: 2015

Genitalia are rapidly evolving morphological structures most likely under sexual selection. Due to their internal nature they are often hidden inside the body, thus morpho-functional studies of animal genitalia are broadly lacking. Males of some bushcricket taxa bear paired genital appendices called titillators, the exact function of which is unknown since they are obscured inside the female body during pairing. To investigate titillator morphology and possible function during copulation, we studied the bushcricket Metrioptera roeselii (Hagenbach, 1822) using a novel combination of independent, yet complementary, techniques. Copulating pairs were snap-frozen and scanned by X-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT) to visualize the coupling of male and female genitalia in situ. Video recordings of copulating pairs also showed rhythmical insertion of male titillators into the female's genital chamber, where they percuss a softened structure on the female's subgenital plate. Movements did not induce damage to the female's structure, which lacks any sclerotized genital counterparts. Instead, scanning electron microscopy and histological sections show the female subgenital plate to be covered with two different types of sensory receptors at the contact zone between the male's titillator and the female genital chamber. We interpret the non-harmful function of the titillator processes, the lack of a genital counter-structure and the presence of sensory cells on the female's subgenital plate as indicators of a copulatory courtship function of titillators, subject to sexual selection by female choice. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Grzywacz B.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Heller K.-G.,Grillenstieg 18 | Lehmann A.W.,Friedensallee 37 | Warchalowska-Sliwa E.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research | Year: 2014

We used molecular characters to infer the phylogenetic position of the Western Mediterranean bushcricket genus Odontura and to trace its high karyotype diversity. Analysis of 1391 base pairs of two mitochondrial genes (COI and ND1) and one nuclear sequence (ITS2) was conducted. Phylogenetic topologies were estimated using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and likelihood-based Bayesian inference. The genus Odontura is a phylogenetic outlier in respect of all other European Phaneropterinae genera and has been proposed to have originated from a hitherto unknown ancestor. Our results support the monophyly of the genus Odontura and the recognition of two subgenera: Odontura and Odonturella. We found that both Sicilian taxa of the subgenus Odontura have a completely identical morphology and song patterns. Combining these results, we proposed that both should be treated as subspecies: O. (Odontura) stenoxypha stenoxypha and O. (O.) st. arcuata. Bioacoustic data also proved to support independent markers, with song characteristics reflecting the molecular topology. Mapping the karyotypic characters onto the phylogenetic tree allows a reconstruction of the directions and transitional stages of chromosome differentiation. The number of autosomes within the genus Odontura ranges from 26 to 30. In addition to the ancestral X0 sex determination mechanism, neo-XY and neo-X1X2Y sex chromosomes have evolved independently. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Warchalowska-Sliwa E.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Grzywacz B.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Maryanska-Nadachowska A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Karamysheva T.V.,RAS Institute of Cytology and Genetics | And 4 more authors.
Genome | Year: 2013

The cytogenetic characteristics of 17 species of bushcricket belonging to eight genera of the tribe Barbitistini were examined by fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA and (TTAGGn) telomeric as probes and by C-banding, silver, and fluorochrome staining. These markers were used to understand chromosomal organization and evolutionary relationships between genera or species within the same genus. The number of 18S rDNA clusters per haploid genome that co-localized with active nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) ranged from one to five, with the most common pattern being the presence of one NOR-bearing chromosome. This ribosomal cistron was preferentially located in the paracentromeric region of autosomes and very rarely in the sex chromosome. The results demonstrated coincidence between the localization of major ribosomal genes and active NORs and the position of C-band and GC-rich regions. The rDNA/NOR distribution and the composition of chromosome heterochromatin proved to be good cytogenetic markers for distinguishing species and phylogenetic lines and for understanding the genomic differentiation and evolution of Barbitistini. A comparison of cytogenetic and morphological or behavioral traits suggests that morphological and behavioral specialization in this group was not followed by major karyotype modification (except for Leptophyes). However, the occurrence and distribution of different repetitive DNA sites tends to vary among the taxa. © 2013 Published by NRC Research Press.


warchalowska-Sliwa E.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Maryanska-Nadachowska A.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Grzywacz B.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Karamysheva T.,RAS Institute of Cytology and Genetics | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Entomology | Year: 2011

Chromosomes of the males of five species of Odontura, belonging to the subgenera Odontura and Odonturella, were analyzed. Intensive evolution of the karyotype was recorded, both in terms of changes in the numbers of chromosomes (from 2n = 31 to 27) and the sex chromosome system (from X0 to neo-XY and X0 to neo-X1X2Y). Karyotype evolution was accompanied by tandem autosome fusions and interspecific autosomal and sex chromosome differentiation involving changes in the locations of nucleolar organizer regions, NORs, which were revealed by silver impregnation and confirmed by FISH using an 18S rDNA probe. O. (Odonturella) aspericauda is a polytypic species with X0 and neo-X1X2Y sex determination. The latter system is not common in tettigoniids. It possibly originated by a translocation of a distal segment of the original X chromosome onto a medium sized autosome, resulting in a shortened neo-X1 and a metacentric neo-Y. The remaining autosome homologue became the neo-X2 chromosome. This shift from X0 to neo-X1X2Y is supported by the length of the X chromosome and location of the NOR/rDNA.


Lehmann G.U.C.,Free University of Berlin | Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Berger S.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Berger S.,Arizona State University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology | Year: 2010

Reduction of tympanal hearing organs is repeatedly found amongst insects and is associated with weakened selection for hearing. There is also an associated wing reduction, since flight is no longer required to evade bats. Wing reduction may also affect sound production. Here, the auditory system in four silent grasshopper species belonging to the Podismini is investigated. In this group, tympanal ears occur but sound signalling does not. The tympanal organs range from fully developed to remarkably reduced tympana. To evaluate the effects of tympanal regression on neuronal organisation and auditory sensitivity, the size of wings and tympana, sensory thresholds and sensory central projections are compared. Reduced tympanal size correlates with a higher auditory threshold. The threshold curves of all four species are tuned to low frequencies with a maximal sensitivity at 3-5 kHz. Central projections of the tympanal nerve show characteristics known from fully tympanate acridid species, so neural elements for tympanal hearing have been strongly conserved across these species. The results also confirm the correlation between reduction in auditory sensitivity and wing reduction. It is concluded that the auditory sensitivity of all four species may be maintained by stabilising selective forces, such as predation. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Strauss J.,Justus Liebig University | Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Lehmann A.W.,Friedensallee 37 | Lakes-Harlan R.,Justus Liebig University
Journal of Morphology | Year: 2012

The auditory sense organ of Tettigoniidae (Insecta, Orthoptera) is located in the foreleg tibia and consists of scolopidial sensilla which form a row termed crista acustica. The crista acustica is associated with the tympana and the auditory trachea. This ear is a highly ordered, tonotopic sensory system. As the neuroanatomy of the crista acustica has been documented for several species, the most distal somata and dendrites of receptor neurons have occasionally been described as forming an alternating or double row. We investigate the spatial arrangement of receptor cell bodies and dendrites by retrograde tracing with cobalt chloride solution. In six tettigoniid species studied, distal receptor neurons are consistently arranged in double-rows of somata rather than a linear sequence. This arrangement of neurons is shown to affect 30-50% of the overall auditory receptors. No strict correlation of somata positions between the anterio-posterior and dorso-ventral axis was evident within the distal crista acustica. Dendrites of distal receptors occasionally also occur in a double row or are even massed without clear order. Thus, a substantial part of auditory receptors can deviate from a strictly straight organization into a more complex morphology. The linear organization of dendrites is not a morphological criterion that allows hearing organs to be distinguished from nonhearing sense organs serially homologous to ears in all species. Both the crowded arrangement of receptor somata and dendrites may result from functional constraints relating to frequency discrimination, or from developmental constraints of auditory morphogenesis in postembryonic development. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Vahed K.,University of Derby | Lehmann A.W.,Friedensallee 37 | Gilbert J.D.J.,University of Cambridge | Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Journal of Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011

Copulation duration varies considerably across species, but few comparative studies have examined factors that might underlie such variation. We examined the relationship between copulation duration (prior to spermatophore transfer), the complexity of titillators (sclerotized male genital contact structures), spermatophore mass and male body mass across 54 species of bushcricket. Using phylogenetic comparative analyses, we found that copulation duration was much longer in species with titillators than those without, but it was not longer in species with complex compared with simple titillators. A positive relationship was found between spermatophore size and copulation duration prior to ejaculate transfer, which supports the hypothesis that this represents a period of mate assessment. The slope of this relationship was steeper in species with simple rather than complex titillators. Although the data suggest that the presence of titillators is necessary to maintain long copulation prior to ejaculate transfer, mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.


Steenman A.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Lehmann A.W.,Friedensallee 37 | Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Ethology Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2015

Dimorphism in wing length is well known in many insect species. In those species a trade-off exists between dispersal capability and reproduction, with the long-winged (LW) morph being a better disperser due to superior flight capability. The short-winged (SW) morph is less mobile and it is hypothesised that females of this morph can invest more energy reserves into offspring production. Morphological examination supports the occurrence of two clearly distinct wing morphs in both sexes of the pygmy grasshopper Tetrix subulata (Orthoptera Tetrigidae). SW females produced larger eggs, in accordance with the reproductive compensation hypothesis. Male wing morph strongly influenced mating duration; mating of LW males with LW females lasted less than 1 min while those of SW males with SW females took around 19 min. Female wing length had little influence on the mating duration. Our results support the trade-off between wing development and reproduction. © 2014 Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Firenze, Italia.


Lehmann G.U.C.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Lehmann A.W.,Friedensallee 37
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2016

Providing nutritional gifts to females during mating is common in several insect species. Although nuptial gifts are well known in the bushcrickets, the specific way in which females use spermatophore material is unclear. In previous research, we found that a portion of the spermatophore is used for body homeostasis in the hours following mating. Other spermatophore materials can later be found in the muscles of females. Here, we examined whether consuming a nuptial gift alters subsequent feeding patterns in females of the herbivorous bushcricket Poecilimon ampliatus. We tested the prediction that nuptial feeding in bushcricket females replaces their normal plant diet. Our alternative hypothesis was that females with and without spermatophore feeding would eat the same amount of plant food. Our results were contradictory: in the first 12. h after eating a spermatophore, females consumed less plant material. In the second 12. h period, they consumed more plant material. Over the entire 4.5-day experiment, spermatophore feeding had no influence on leaf consumption. Possible explanations for these discrepancies are that females prefer spermatophores to vegetation, and thus consume spermatophores during the first 12. h period. But spermatophore nutrients may be rapidly digested and assimilated, leaving female guts empty and leading to increased plant feeding during the second 12. h period. Hence, our results suggest that in bushcrickets, spermatophores replace the normal female diet in the short term, but supplement it in the long term. © 2015 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.


PubMed | Humboldt University of Berlin, Friedensallee 37 and University of Melbourne
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Arthropod structure & development | Year: 2015

Genitalia are rapidly evolving morphological structures most likely under sexual selection. Due to their internal nature they are often hidden inside the body, thus morpho-functional studies of animal genitalia are broadly lacking. Males of some bushcricket taxa bear paired genital appendices called titillators, the exact function of which is unknown since they are obscured inside the female body during pairing. To investigate titillator morphology and possible function during copulation, we studied the bushcricket Metrioptera roeselii (Hagenbach, 1822) using a novel combination of independent, yet complementary, techniques. Copulating pairs were snap-frozen and scanned by X-ray micro-computed tomography (CT) to visualize the coupling of male and female genitalia in situ. Video recordings of copulating pairs also showed rhythmical insertion of male titillators into the females genital chamber, where they percuss a softened structure on the females subgenital plate. Movements did not induce damage to the females structure, which lacks any sclerotized genital counterparts. Instead, scanning electron microscopy and histological sections show the female subgenital plate to be covered with two different types of sensory receptors at the contact zone between the males titillator and the female genital chamber. We interpret the non-harmful function of the titillator processes, the lack of a genital counter-structure and the presence of sensory cells on the females subgenital plate as indicators of a copulatory courtship function of titillators, subject to sexual selection by female choice.

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