Bateman gradients, the slope of the regression of reproductive success on mating success, are among the most commonly reported measures of sexual selection. They are particularly insightful in species with reversed sex roles, where females are expected to be under sexual selection. We measured Bateman gradients in replicate experimental populations of the spermatophore gift-giving bushcricket Kawanaphila nartee (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). In this species, the operational sex ratio (OSR) and thus the sex competing for mates varies depending on the availability of pollen food resources: under pollen-limited regimens females are more competitive, whereas under pollen-rich regimens males are more competitive. We maintained populations in enclosures with either limited or supplemented pollen, and calculated Bateman gradients for males and females under both conditions. Bateman gradients were significantly positive in males, and the slope was steeper in pollen-supplemented populations where the OSR was more male-biased. Bateman gradients for females were shallow and nonsignificant regardless of pollen availability. Our results show that the strength of sexual selection on males can depend on environmental context. The lack of significant gradients among females may reflect experimental limitations on our ability to estimate Bateman gradients in female K. nartee.
|Date made available
|13 Jul 2022