Research Article

Pre- and post-copulatory mate choice in Platygryllus primiformis: cryptic female choice and sexual conflict

Darren Parker

University of Derby

Received:

29 Sept 2008

Accepted:

18 Dec 2008

Published:

9 Apr 2009

Volume:

2

Issue:

2

Keywords:

Platygryllus primiformis, mate choice, sexual conflict, cryptic female choice, male manipulation, sexually antagonistic coevolution

Abstract:

The effect of sexual conflict upon mating systems is a controversial topic. The aim of this study was to determine whether post-copulatory choice by females (spermatophore removal) reinforces pre-copulatory choice with respect to male body size and fighting ability, and whether such post-copulatory female choice is influenced by post-copulatory mate guarding by males using Platygryllus primiformis (Orthoptera: Gryllidae; Gryllinae). A no-choice test was used to determine the attractiveness of males and spermatophore attachment time was recorded as a measure of cryptic female choice. Females maintained a pre-copulatory mate choice for large males that were more successful in fighting, shown by a shorter latency to copulation. Larger, males that were more successful in fighting were also preferred by post-copulatory cryptic female choice, shown by a longer spermatophore attachment time, reinforcing pre-copulatory mate choice. Males attempted to counter this selection by guarding females, which increased their spermatophore attachment time. Interestingly, spermatophore attachment time increased similarly for all sizes of male as a result of mate guarding, meaning that females maintained their original choice.

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