Choosy males in Jamaican field crickets
Male mate choice is an often neglected aspect of sexual selection studies. While theory predicts that females should exhibit mate choice due to their comparatively greater investment in gametes, males may also exhibit mate choice for a variety of reasons, including seeking mates with greater fecundity. Furthermore, males may exhibit discriminant or indiscriminate mate choice as a function of their own intrinsic characteristics, such as body size or condition. Here we experimentally evaluated male Jamaican field cricket, Gryllus assimilis, mating preferences using randomly selected females and determined how both male and female morphology (body size and residual mass) and male signalling behaviour influence male mate preference. Results show that male crickets exhibit mating preferences, with larger males tending to exhibit more consistent mate preferences than smaller males. Contrary to predictions, males did not prefer larger or relatively heavier females, suggesting that males may not be basing their choosiness on these proxy measures of female fecundity. Our findings highlight the need for continued research on male mate choice and identifying the intrinsic characteristics of both sexes that drive them.
|Keywords||field cricket, Gryllus assimilis, male mate preference, mate choice, signalling behaviour|
Bertram, S.M, Loranger, M.J. (Michelle J.), Thomson, I.R. (Ian R.), Harrison, S.J. (Sarah J.), Ferguson, G.L. (Genevieve L.), Reifer, M.L. (Mykell L.), … Gowaty, P.A. (Patricia Adair). (2017). Choosy males in Jamaican field crickets. Animal Behaviour, 133, 101–108. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.09.016