Pre- and post-copulatory mate choice in Platygryllus primiformis: cryptic female choice and sexual conflict
University of Derby
29 Sep 2008
18 Dec 2008
9 Apr 2009
Platygryllus primiformis, mate choice, sexual conflict, cryptic female choice, male manipulation, sexually antagonistic coevolution
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.