To father offspring, a male must succeed at two processes of sexual selection: (1) mate with a female and (2) fertilize her eggs. We investigated the relationships between pre- and post-copulatory male traits and female mating responses in wild-captured and laboratory-reared spring field crickets, Gryllus veletis. The phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis suggests that females may receive a direct benefit, enhanced fertilization efficiency, by mating with males that signal attractively. We measured fine-scale components of male acoustic mate attraction signals as well as how much time males spent signalling, measured female preference for males in mating trials and then quantified sperm number and viability. We found no relationship between male signalling traits and male fertility or female preference, providing no evidence for the phenotype-linked fertility hypothesis. We also found no difference in sperm metrics between wild-captured and laboratory-reared males. While female crickets may receive benefits by choosing males based on acoustic signal characteristics, whether the benefits are a result of genetic quality, seminal fluid contents or some other male trait remains unknown.

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Keywords Acoustic signal, Life-history theory, Mate attraction, Phenotype-linked fertility, Sexual selection, Sperm competition, Y model
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Journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Fitzsimmons, L.P. (Lauren P.), & Bertram, S.M. (2013). No relationship between long-distance acoustic mate attraction signals and male fertility or female preference in spring field crickets. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 67(6), 885–893. doi:10.1007/s00265-013-1511-z