Melissa Hughes

Melissa Hughes
College of Charleston | C of C · Department of Biology

About

35
Publications
9,197
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
1,504
Citations

Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Full-text available
Size-assortative pairing is common across a wide range of taxa. In many cases, both sexes would benefit from pairing with a mate larger than themselves. As males and females cannot simultaneously be larger than their pair mate, size differences within pairs reflect which sex is able to obtain this benefit. Snapping shrimp can be found in pairs year...
Article
Behavior courses face numerous challenges when moving to an online environment, as has been made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges occur largely because behavior courses, like most organismal biology courses, often stress experiential learning through laboratories that involve live animals, as well as a lecture component that emp...
Preprint
Face-to-face classes in animal behavior often stress experiential learning through laboratories that involve observation of live animals, as well as a lecture component that emphasizes formative assessment, discussion and critical thinking. As a result, behavior courses face unique challenges when moving to an online environment, as has been made n...
Article
In monogamous mating systems, pair mates frequently share similar characteristics, such as size or ornamentation, a pattern suggesting mutual mate choice. When pairs persist across multiple seasons, preferences for familiar pair mates can either reinforce or disrupt patterns of assortative pairing. Snapping shrimp (Alpheus angulosus) are socially m...
Article
Full-text available
Sexually dimorphic weaponry often results from intrasexual selection, and weapon size can vary seasonally when costs of bearing the weapon exceed the benefits outside of the reproductive season. Weapons can also be favored in competition over nonreproductive resources such as food or shelter, and if such nonreproductive competition occurs year‐roun...
Chapter
Territoriality is a special case of resource defense, in which space is actively defended for exclusive use. As active defense is likely to be costly, territoriality is expected only when the benefits of exclusivity outweigh these costs. In most territorial species of noncrustacean taxa, the defended space includes resources critical for reproducti...
Article
Snapping shrimps (Alpheus spp.) exhibit extreme asymmetry of the chelae, presenting a large snapper and a small pincer, which are used for different behaviors. Like most crustaceans, snapping shrimps are able to autotomize, or drop, limbs when threatened. Although some limbs can be regenerated following autotomy, when the snapper is autotomized, th...
Article
The green porcelain crab, Petrolisthes armatus, is a common invasive species on inter-tidal oyster reefs in the South Atlantic Bight whose behavior is largely unknown. We assessed the effects of the presence of opposite-sex conspecifics on adult crab spacing at a low density to infer potential mate acquisition behaviors. Adult crabs held in all-mal...
Article
Full-text available
Learned aspects of song have been hypothesized to signal cognitive ability in songbirds. We tested this hypothesis in hand-reared song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) that were tutored with playback of adult songs during the critical period for song learning. The songs developed by the 19 male subjects were compared to the model songs to produce two m...
Article
The snapping shrimp, Alpheus angulosusMcClure, 2002, is a small crustacean with bilaterally asymmetric claws that serve distinct behavioural and sensory functions. If the large claw is lost, the organism switches handedness, transforming its small pincer claw into a large snapping claw while simultaneously developing a small claw on the contralater...
Article
Full-text available
Animal acoustic communication often takes the form of complex sequences, made up of multiple distinct acoustic units. Apart from the well-known example of birdsong, other animals such as insects, amphibians, and mammals (including bats, rodents, primates, and cetaceans) also generate complex acoustic sequences. Occasionally, such as with birdsong,...
Article
Sexual dimorphisms in weaponry and aggression are common in species in which one sex (usually males) competes for access to mates or resources necessary for reproduction – sexually dimorphic weaponry and aggression, in other words, are frequently the result of intrasexual selection. In snapping shrimp, the major chela (snapping claw) can be a deadl...
Article
The ability to regenerate lost tissues, organs or whole body parts is widespread across animal taxa; in some animals, regeneration includes transforming a remaining structure to replace the one that was lost. The transformation of one limb into another involves considerable plasticity in morphology, physiology and behavior, and snapping shrimp offe...
Article
While the relationship between aggression and resource value in competitions for discrete resources is well established, the relationship between aggression and territory quality is less well understood. Territoriality imposes spatial structure on social interactions: if spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality leads to clustering of high- and low-...
Article
Alpheus angulosus McClure, 2002 is one of several species of snapping shrimp that live along the east coast of the United States and belong to the edwardsii group of Alpheus. The genus Alpheus presents with bilateral asymmetry in their chelipeds, specifically a large snapper and a smaller pincer. This is an extreme example of the asymmetry found in...
Article
Social costs are one mechanism whereby reliability in signalling systems can be maintained. We measured the strength of aggressive response to territorial playback to ask whether the reliability of 'soft song', a strongly aggressive signal in the song sparrow, Melospiza melodia, is enforced by a social cost in the form of the receiver's aggressive...
Article
Many organisms use antennae to gather tactile or chemical information from the environment. Crustaceans have two sets of antennae: short antennules (first antennae) and antennae posterior or lateral to them (second antennae) which are often much longer. While the function of crustacean antennae has received some attention, particularly the percepti...
Article
In species in which males defend territories for breeding, males may differ in territorial behavior; alternative behaviors among territorial males are not well understood. In our long‐term study of partially‐migratory song sparrows, we have observed that most territorial males establish territories before females begin nesting and remain site‐faith...
Article
Animals in urban habitats face a number of unique stresses, including the necessity of dealing with high levels of human activity. Growing research suggests that: (1) inherent traits, as opposed to learned behavior, influence which species invade urban habitats, and (2) individuals exhibit behavioral syndromes that limit behavioral flexibility. As...
Article
Song repertoires are thought to have evolved by sexual selection, with larger repertoires being advantageous in both female choice and territory defence. While most hypotheses of repertoire evolution treat different song types as functionally equal, an alternative hypothesis is that song repertoires evolved to allow song sharing with multiple neigh...
Article
In a territorial system where males vary in fighting ability or attractiveness to females, not all neighbours should be equally threatening to a territory owner. Selection should act on territory owners to recognize consistent individual differences between neighbours, assess which neighbours represent greater threats, and respond appropriately whe...
Article
In many species, the ability to defend a territory is essential for a male to obtain any reproductive success at all, and even among territorial individuals, variation in the strength of territory defense could have a significant impact on how much reproductive success is obtained. Previous studies have documented consistent individual differences...
Article
Lack (1946) suggested that male songbirds exhibit consistent individual differences in the vigor or manner in which they defend their territories against intrusion. The causes and consequences of such individual variation have not been incorporated into models of territoriality, however, because of a lack of experimental data confirming Lack's sugg...
Article
Whether geographic variation in signals actually affects communication between individuals depends on whether discriminable differences in signals occur over distances that individuals move in their lifetimes. We measure the ability of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to discriminate foreign from local songs using foreign songs recorded at a serie...
Article
Song learning in oscine birds is often defined solely as a process of song imitation; nonetheless, not all songs produced by laboratory-tutored birds are imitations of the model songs. If song learning were strictly a process of imitation, these non-imitated songs (inventions) would be expected to contain no learned attributes. To determine whether...
Article
Closely related species of songbirds often show large differences in song syntax, suggesting that major innovations in syntax must sometimes arise and spread. Here we examine the response of male and female swamp sparrows,Melospiza georgiana , to an innovation in song syntax produced by males of this species. Young male swamp sparrows that have bee...
Article
Full-text available
Animals in competitive interactions often assess the competitive ability of opponents using signals. Signals used in competitive interactions are generally predicted to be honest, but open to low levels of deceit. Such ''incomplete honesty'' in signals can be studied by using signal residuals, the residuals from the regression of a measure of signa...
Article
Territory defense is considered one of the primary functions of bird song. but this hypothesis has been directly tested in only a few cases. We used the speaker replacement method to ask whether song functions as a 'keep out' signal in song sparrows, a species for which there is considerable evidence supporting a mate attraction and stimulation fun...
Article
One hypothesis for the function of song repertoires is that males learn multiple song types so that they may share songs with neighbors, allowing them to match during territorial interactions. In at least one song sparrow population, in Washington, territorial males share a high proportion of song types with their neighbors and use these shared son...
Article
The role of learning in the development of bird vocalizations other than territorial song is not well studied. The well-known role of direct imitation in the development of territorial song potentially masks the effects of other processes in the development of vocal behaviour. The ‘chick-a-dee’ call of black-capped chickadees is a good system in wh...
Article
Full-text available
We tested female and male Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) from a Penn-sylvania site for discrimination between local songs and foreign songs recorded in New York. In Experiments 1 and 2 we measured the copulatory response of female Song Spar-rows to playback of local and foreign songs. In Experiment 3 we measured the aggressive response of territ...
Article
Animal signals are often used in more than one context or by more than one class of signaller. In the big-clawed snapping shrimp,Alpheus heterochaelis, the open chela display is a visual signal produced by both males and females. Thus, to respond appropriately to the open chela display in interactions, shrimp need information about the sex of the o...
Article
Snapping shrimp are highly aggressive decapod crustaceans, with large, asymmetric chelae. Body size determines the outcome of both inter- and intrasexual interactions. Both the body and chela sizes of mated pairs are correlated, but the body size correlation is significantly stronger. In competitive interactions between individuals of the same sex,...
Article
In addition to their simple trilled territorial song, normally sung while perched, male Swamp Sparrows (Melospiza georgiana) more rarely also sing a flight song with complex phonology and syntax. The typical trilled songs of Swamp Sparrows all can be broken down into only six simple constituent note types. Because these same note types, and no othe...
Article
Typescript. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Duke University, 1994. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 174-185).

Network

Cited By