Rafael L. Rodríguez
Behavior and Evolution

Publications in Peer-Reviewed Journals


Escalante I, Kellner JR, Desjonquères C, Noffsinger GM, Cirino LA, Rodríguez AN, DeLong SA & Rodríguez RL. 2023. On the function of a female-like signal type in the vibrational repertoire of Enchenopa male treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 37, 110-122.

Rittinger M, Rodríguez RL & Escalante I. 2024. Heuristic test reveals little effect of learning and maturation on early prey capture experiences in a web-buildoing spider. Scientific Reports 14, 11736.


Cirino L, Gallagher I, Desjonquères C & Rodríguez RL. 2023. Robust mate preferences despite means and opportunity for mate choice copying in an insect. Animal Behaviour 200, 137-146.

Desjonquères C & Rodríguez RL. 2023. The direction and strength of social plasticity in mating signals and mate preferences vary with the life stage of induction. Animal Behaviour 200, 255-261.

Desjonquères C, Speck B, Seidita S, Cirino L, Escalante I, Sergi C, Maliszewski J, Wiese C, Hoebel G, Bailey NW & Rodríguez RL. 2023. Social plasticity enhances signal-preference co-divergence. American Naturalist 202, 818-829.

Eberhard WG & Rodríguez RL. 2023. Static allometry of a threat device that is not a weapon: wing spots in male Heterandrium fallax (Hymenoptera Agaonidae). Ethology Ecology & Evolution 35, 167-178.

Rodríguez RL. 2023. Rafael Lucas Rodríguez Caballero: humanist, botanist and conservationist. Tropical Journal of Environmental Sciences (Revista de Ciencias Ambientales) 57, 1-11.


Escalante I, Kellner JR, Rodríguez RL & Desjonquères C. 2022. A female mimic signal type in the vibrational repertoire of male Enchenopa treehoppers. Behaviour 159, 1319-1340.

Höbel G & Rodríguez RL. 2022. Positive-to-negative behavioural responses suggest hedonic evaluation in treefrog mate choice. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 289, 20211822.
Cover image by G. Höbel.

Sergi C, Schlais A, Marshall M & Rodríguez RL. 2022. Western black widow spiders (Latrodectus hesperus) remember prey capture location and size, but only alter behavior for prey caught at particular sites. Ethology, 128, 707-714.


Broder ED, Elias DO, Rodríguez RL, Rosenthal GG, Seymoure B & Tinghitella RM. 2021. Evolutionary novelty in communication between the sexes. Biology Letters 16, 20200733.

Desjonquères C, Maliszewski J & Rodríguez RL. 2021. Juvenile social experience and practice have a switch-like influence on adult mate preferences in an insect. Evolution 75, 1106-1116.

Rodríguez RL, Wood TK, Stearns FW, Snyder RL, Tilmon KJ, Cast M, Hunt RE & Cocroft RB. 2021. Adaptation without specialization early in a host shift. American Naturalist 198, 333-346.

Sergi C, Antonopoulos T & Rodríguez RL. 2021. Black widow spiders use path integration on their webs. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 75, 73.

Soley FG, Rodríguez RL, Höbel G & Eberhard WG. 2021. Insightful behavior in arthropods? Behaviour 158, 781-793.


Desjonquères C, Holt RB, Speck B & Rodríguez RL. 2020. The relationship between a combinatorial rule and a continuous preference function in an insect. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287, 20201278.

Rodríguez RL. 2020. Back to the basics of mate choice: the evolutionary importance of Darwin’s sense of beauty. Quarterly Review of Biology, 95, 289-309.

Sergi C, Thompson C, Montgomery B, Prochniewski W & Rodríguez RL. 2020. The web architecture of Latrodectus hesperus black widow spiders (Araneae: Theridiidae) shows genetic varition and sexual dimorphism, but no plasticity according to experience of the site of prey capture. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 74, 85.

Speck B, Seidita S, Belo S, Johnson S, Conley C, Desjonquères C & Rodríguez RL. 2020. Combinatorial signal processing in an insect. American Naturalist 196, 406-413.

Thompson CH, Rodríguez RL & Sergi C. 2020. Repeatability but no short-term plasticity in the web architecture of Latrodectus hesperus black widow spiders (Araneae: Theridiidae). Ethology 126, 313-319.


Desjonquères C, Maliszewski J, Lewandowski EN, Speck B & Rodríguez RL. 2019. Social ontogeny in the communication system of an insect. Animal Behaviour 148, 93-103.

Desjonquères C, Speck B & Rodríguez RL. 2019. Signalling interactions during ontogeny are a cause of social plasticity in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Behavioural Processes 266, 103887.

Kilmer JT & Rodríguez RL. 2019. Miniature spiders (with miniature brains) forget sooner. Animal Behaviour 153, 25-32.

Neelon DP, Rodríguez RL & Höbel G. 2019. On the architecture of mate choice decisions: preference functions and choosiness are distinct traits. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286, 2018, 28-30.

Rodríguez RL & Eberhard WG. 2019. Why the static allometry of sexually-selected traits varies so much: the importance of function. Integrative and Comparative Biology 59, 1290-1302.


Eberhard WG, Rodríguez RL, Huber BA, Speck B, Miller H, Buzatto BA & Machado G. 2018. Sexual selection and static allometry: the importance of function. Quarterly Review of Biology 93, 207-250.

Fitzpatrick CL, Hobson E, Mendelson TC, Rodríguez RL, Safran RJ, Scordato E, Servedio MR, Stern CA, Symes L & Kopp M. 2018. Theory meets empiry: a citation network analysis. BioScience 68, 805-812.

Fowler–Finn KD, Kilmer JT, Cruz DC & Rodríguez RL. 2018. Female mate choice of male signals is unlikely to promote ecological adaptation in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Ecology and Evolution 8, 2146-2159.

Kilmer JT, Havens ZS & Rodríguez RL. 2018. Ontogenetic approach reveals how cognitive capability and motivation shape prey-searching behavior in Pholcus phalangioides cellar spiders (Araneae: Pholcidae). Ethology 124, 657-666.

Kopp M, Servedio MS, Mendelson MC, Safran RJ, Rodríguez RL, Hauber ME, Scordato EC, Symes LB, Balakrishnan CN, Zonana DM & van Doorn GS. 2018. Mechanisms of assortative mating in speciation: connecting theory and empirical research. American Naturalist 191, 1-20.

Rodríguez RL, Wojcinski JE & Maliszewski J. 2018. Between-group variation in Enchenopa treehopper juvenile signaling (Hemiptera Membracidae). Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 30, 245-255.


Fowler–Finn KD, Cruz DC & Rodríguez RL. 2017. Local population density and group composition influence the signal-preference relationship in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30, 13-25.

Kilmer JT, Fowler–Finn KD, Gray DA, Höbel G, Rebar D, Reichert MS & Rodríguez RL. 2017. Describing mate preference functions and other function-valued traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30, 1658–1673.

Kilmer JT & Rodríguez RL. 2017. Do structures with sexual contact functions evolve negative static allometries? A case study with the harvestman Leiobunum vittatum (Opiliones Sclerosomatidae). Ecology, Ethology & Evolution 29(1), 64-73.

Kilmer JT & Rodríguez RL. 2017. Ordinary least squares regression is indicated for studies of allometry. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 30, 4-12.

Symes LB, Rodríguez RL & Höbel G. 2017. Beyond temperature-coupling: effects of temperature on ectotherm signaling and mate choice and the implications for communication in multi-species assemblages. Ecology & Evolution 7, 5992-6002.


Fowler–Finn KD & Rodríguez RL. 2016. The causes of variation in the presence of genetic covariance between sexual traits and preferences. Biological Reviews 91, 498–510.

Mendelson TC, Fitzpatrick CL, Hauber ME, Pence CH, Rodríguez RL, Safran RJ, Stern CA & Stevens JR. 2016. Cognitive phenotypes and the evolution of animal decisions. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31, 850-859.

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2016. Males adjust their signalling behaviour according to experience of male signals and male–female signal duets. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 29, 766–776.


Fowler–Finn KD, Kilmer JT, Hallett AC & Rodríguez RL. 2015. Variation in signal–preference genetic correlations in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Ecology and Evolution 5(14), 2774-2786.

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2015. Insect mating signal and mate preference phenotypes covary among host plant genotypes. Evolution 69-3, 602–610.

Rodríguez RL, Araya–Salas M, Gray DA,Reichert MS, Symes LB, Wilkins MR, Safran RJ & Höbel G. 2015. How acoustic signals scale with individual body size: common trends across diverse taxa. Behavioral Ecology 26, 168–177.

Rodríguez RL, Briceño RD, Briceño-Aguilar E & Höbel G. 2015. Nephila clavipes spiders (Araneae: Nephilidae) keep track of captured prey counts: testing for a sense of numerosity in an orb-weaver. Animal Cognition 18, 307–314.

Rodríguez RL, Burger MG, Wojcinski JE & Kilmer JT. 2015. Vibrational Signals and Mating Behavior of Japanese Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 108(6), 986–992.

Rodríguez RL, Cramer JD, Schmitt CA, Gaetano TJ, Grobler JP, Freimer NB & Turner TR. 2015. Adult age confounds estimates of static allometric slopes in a vertebrate. Ethology, Ecology & Evolution, 27(4), 412–421.

Rodríguez RL, Cramer JD, Schmitt CA, Gaetano TJ, Grobler JP, Freimer NB & Turner TR. 2015. The static allometry of sexual and non–sexual traits in vervet monkeys. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 114, 527–537.


Fowler–Finn KD, Al–Wathiqui N, Al–Wathiqui M, Cruz D, & Rodríguez RL. 2014. Male Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae) vary mate-searching behavior but not signaling behavior in response to spider silk. Naturwissenschaften 101, 211–220.

Fowler-Finn KD, Triana E & Miller O.G. 2014. Mating in the harvestman Leiobunum vittatum (Arachnida: Opiliones): from premating struggles to solicitous tactile engagement. Behaviour 151, 1663-1686.

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2014. Genetic variation in host plants influences the mate preferences of a plant-feeding insect. The American Naturalist 184, 489-499.

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2014. Trees to treehoppers: genetic variation in host plants contributes to variation in the mating signals of a plant- feeding insect. Ecology Letters 17, 203-210.


Bailey NW, Fowler-Finn KD, Rebar D, & Rodríguez RL. 2013. Green symphonies or wind in the willows? Testing acoustic communication in plants. Behavioral Ecology 24, 797-798.

Fowler–Finn KD & Rodríguez RL. 2013. Repeatability of mate preference functions in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Animal Behaviour 85, 493-499.

Gabor CR, Aspbury AS & Rodríguez RL. 2013. Geographic variation in behaviour: an introduction. Evolutionary Ecology Research 15, 601–604.

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2013. Genetic variation in social influence on mate preferences. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280, 20130803.

Rodríguez RL. 2013. Causes of variation in genotype × environment interaction. Evolutionary Ecology Research 15, 733–746.

Rodríguez RL, Boughman JW, Gray DA, Hebets EA, Höbel G & Symes LB. 2013. Diversification under sexual selection: the relative roles of mate preference strength and the degree of divergence in mate preferences. Ecology Letters 16, 964–974.

Rodríguez RL, Hallett J, Kilmer T & Fowler-Finn K. 2013. Curves as traits: genetic and environmental variation in mate preference functions. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26, 434-442.

Rodríguez RL, Kolodziej RC & Höbel G. 2013. Memory of prey larders in golden orb-web spiders, Nephila clavipes (Araneae: Nephilidae). Behaviour 150, 1345-1356.

Rodríguez RL, Rebar D & Fowler–Finn KD. 2013. The evolution and evolutionary consequences of social plasticity in mate preferences. Animal Behaviour 85, 1041-1047.

Safran RJ, Scordato ESC, Symes LB, Rodríguez RL & Mendelson TC. 2013. Contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of premating reproductive isolation: a research agenda. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 1743, 643-650.


Fowler–Finn KD & Rodríguez RL. 2012. Experience–mediated plasticity in mate preference functions: mating assurance in a variable environment. Evolution 66, 459-468.

Fowler–Finn KD & Rodríguez RL. 2012. The evolution of experience-mediated plasticity in mate preferences. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25, 1855-1863.

Rebar D, Höbel G & Rodríguez RL. 2012. Vibrational playback by means of airborne stimuli. The Journal of Experimental Biology 215, 3513-3518.

Rodríguez RL. 2012. Grain of environment explains variation in the strength of genotype 3 environment interaction. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25, 1897-1901.

Rodríguez RL & Al–Wathiqui N. 2012. Causes of variation in sexual allometry: a case study with the mating signals and genitalia of Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera Membracidae). Ethology Ecology & Evolution 24, 187-197.

Rodríguez RL & Al–Wathiqui N. 2012. Genotype × environment interaction in the allometry of traits in the body, genitalia, and signals of Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 105, 187-196.

Rodríguez RL, Haen C, Cocroft RB & Fowler–Finn KD. 2012. Males adjust signaling effort based on cues arising from expression of female mate preferences. Behavioral Ecology 23, 1218-1225.


Al–Wathiqui N & Rodríguez RL. 2011. Allometric slopes not underestimated by OLS regression: a case study in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 104, 562-566.

Hebets EA, Stafstrom JA, Rodríguez RL & Wilgers DJ. 2011. Enigmatic ornamentation eases male reliance on courtship performance for mating success. Animal Behaviour 81, 963–972.

Rodríguez RL & Al–Wathiqui N. 2011. Genotype × environment interaction is weaker in genitalia than in mating signals and body traits in Enchenopa treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Genetica 139, 871-884.

Rodríguez RL & Gloudeman MD. 2011. Estimating the repeatability of memories of captured prey formed by Frontinella communis spiders (Araneae: Linyphiidae). Animal Cognition 14, 675-682.


Cocroft RB, Rodríguez RL & Hunt RE. 2010. Host shifts and signal divergence: mating signals covary with host use in a complex of specialized plant-feeding insects. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 99, 60-72.


Eberhard WG, Rodríguez RL & Polihronakis M. 2009. Pitfalls in understanding the functional significance of genital allometry. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22, 435-445.

Rodríguez RL. 2009. Trait duplication by means of sensory bias. Behavioral Ecology 20, 1376-1381.


Rodríguez RL, Sullivan LM, Snyder RL & Cocroft RB. 2008. Host shifts and the beginning of signal divergence. Evolution 62, 12-20.


Rodríguez RL & Cocroft RB. 2006. Divergence in female duetting signals in the Enchenopa binotata species complex of treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Ethology 112, 1231-1238.

Rodríguez RL, Ramaswamy K & Cocroft RB. 2006. Evidence that female preferences have shaped male signal evolution in a clade of specialized plant-feeding insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273, 2585-2593.


Cocroft RB & Rodríguez RL. 2005. The behavioral ecology of insect vibrational communication. BioScience 55,

Rodríguez RL, Schul J, Cocroft R & Greenfield MD. 2005. The contribution of tympanic transmission to fine temporal signal evaluation in an ultrasonic moth. Journal of Experimental Biology 208, 4159-4165. Link to Journal of Experimental Biology.


Greenfield MD & Rodríguez RL. 2004. Genotype-environment interaction and the reliability of mating signals. Animal Behaviour 68, 1461-1468.

Rodríguez RL & Greenfield MD. 2004. Behavioural context regulates dual function of ultrasonic hearing in lesser waxmoths: bat avoidance and pair formation. Physiological Entomology 29, 159-168.

Rodríguez RL & Snedden WA. 2004. On the functional design of receiver bias and mate choice. Animal Behaviour 68, 427-432.

Rodríguez RL, Sullivan LE & Cocroft RB. 2004. Vibrational communication and reproductive isolation in the Enchenopa binotata species complex of treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae). Evolution 58, 571-578.


Rodríguez RL & Greenfield MD. 2003. Genetic variance and phenotypic plasticity in a component of female mate choice in an ultrasonic moth. Evolution 57, 1304 – 1313.


Rodríguez RL. 2000. On the fore legs of seed bugs (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae): aggression and allometric scaling in Scolopostethus affinis Schilling. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 73, 6-10.

Rodríguez RL & Gamboa E. 2000. Memory of captured prey in three web spiders (Araneae: Araneidae, Linyphiidae, Tetragnathidae). Animal Cognition 3, 91 – 97.


Eberhard WG, Huber BA & Rodríguez RL. 1999. Don’t forget the biology: a reply to Green. Evolution 53, 1624-1627.

Rodríguez RL. 1999. Male and female mating behavior in two Ozophora bugs (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 72, 137-148.

Rodríguez RL. 1999. Spermatophore transfer and ejection in the beetle Pseudoxychila tarsalis (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 72, 1-9.


Eberhard WG, Huber BA, Rodríguez RL, Salas I, Briceño RD & Rodríguez V. 1998. One size fits all? Relationships between the size and degree of variation in genitalia and other body parts in twenty species of insects and spiders. Evolution 52, 415-431.

Rodríguez RL. 1998. Copulation, fighting behavior and life cycle of Neopamera bilobata (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae). Revista de Biología Tropical 46, 837-840.

Rodríguez RL. 1998. Mating behavior of two Pseudoxychila beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae). Canadian Entomologist 130, 735-750.

Rodríguez RL. 1998. Possible female choice during copulation in Ozophora baranowskii (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae): female behavior, multiple copulations, and sperm transfer. Journal of Insect Behavior 11, 725-741.


Rodríguez RL. 1997. Notes on the natural history of two Ozophora bugs (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) in Costa Rica. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 70, 203-206.


Rodríguez RL. 1995. Male courtship behaviour in Phaleria gracili­pes (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Entomologists’ Monthly Magazine 131, 41-45.


Rodríguez RL & Eberhard WG. 1994. Male courtship before and during copulation in two species of Xyonysius bugs (Hemiptera, Lygaeidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 67, 37-45.

Department of Biological Sciences Lapham Hall, 3209 N. Maryland Avenue, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA