Sex differences in immunity in two species of field crickets

M. Zuk, Leigh Simmons, J.T. Rotenberry, M. Stoehr

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    54 Citations (Scopus)


    Immune defense often differs between the sexes, with males often having a weaker response, at least amongmany vertebrates. We examined encapsulation ability, a cell-mediated immune response, in laboratory and field populationsof two species of field crickets, Teleogryllus oceanicus (Le Guillou, 1841) and Teleogryllus commodus (Walker,1869), which have different life histories. In the seasonally breeding T. commodus, males show a stronger encapsulationresponse than females in both the laboratory and the field, although the difference is more marked under field conditions.The aseasonal T. oceanicus showed no sex difference in encapsulation in either field or laboratory samples fedad libitum, but when food was experimentally reduced, the same pattern of stronger male response emerged. It is possiblethat this pattern may result from selection on females to increase investment in reproduction when time and energyfor breeding are limited, as is more likely for seasonal breeders or animals under food restriction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)627-634
    JournalCanadian Journal of Zoology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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