Males adjust their manipulation of female remating in response to sperm competition risk

  • Joe Moschilla (Creator)



To reduce the potential for sperm competition, male insects are thought to inhibit the post-mating reproductive behaviour of females through receptivity inhibiting compounds transferred in the ejaculate. Selection is expected to favour phenotypic plasticity in male post-copulatory expenditure, with males investing strategically in response to their perceived risk of sperm competition. However, the impact that socially cued strategic allocation might have on female post-mating behaviour has rarely been assessed. Here, we varied male perception of sperm competition risk, both prior to and during mating, to determine if a male’s competitive environment impacts the extent to which he manipulates female remating behaviour. We found that female Australian field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus) mated to males that were reared under sperm competition risk emerged from a shelter in search of male song sooner than did females mated to males reared without risk, but only when mating occured in a risk free environment. We also found that females reared in a silent environment where potential mates were scarce displayed greater post-mating mate searching behaviour than females exposed to male calls during development. Collectively, our findings suggest complex interacting effects of male and female sociosexual environments on female post-mating sexual receptivity.
Date made available25 Aug 2020

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