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Tibial Spur Feeding in Ground Crickets: Larger Males Contribute Larger Gifts (Orthoptera: Gryllidae)

Kenneth M. Fedorka and Timothy A. Mousseau
The Florida Entomologist
Vol. 85, No. 2 (Jun., 2002), pp. 317-323
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3496883
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Tibial Spur Feeding in Ground Crickets: Larger Males Contribute Larger Gifts (Orthoptera: Gryllidae)
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Abstract

Many male insects provide somatic nuptial gifts that may strongly influence reproductive fitness by insuring an effective copulation or by increasing paternal investment. In the striped ground cricket, Allonemobius socius (Scudder), females receive a nuptial gift by chewing on a specialized spur on the male's hind tibia during copulation. Using a series of no-choice trials, we attempted to quantify gift magnitude and to determine the relationships between male size, gift contribution, and male mating success. Tibial spur chewing duration was a significant predictor of gift contribution (F1,17 = 17.02, P < 0.001) and the magnitude of the gift ranged between 0.2% and 8% of the male's body mass, implying that females receive mostly hemolymph. Large males produced bigger gifts than small males (2.52 ± 0.59 mg vs. 1.33 ± 0.28 mg, t17 = 1.88, P < 0.05, respectively) and females were more likely to mate with larger males (F1,39 = 4.76, P < 0.05). If gift size is shown to influence female reproductive fitness, then nuptial gifts may play a large role in the evolution of male body size. /// El macho en muchos insectos provee un regalo nupcial somático que puede influenciar fuertemente la adaptabilidad óptima reproductiva (fitness) al asegurar una cópula eficaz o al incrementar la inversión paternal. En el grillo Allonemobius socius, las hembras reciben un regalo nupcial al morder un espolón especializado en la tibia posterior del macho durante la cópula. Utilizando una serie de pruebas de no alternativas, tratamos de cuantificar la magnitud del regalo y determinar la relación entre el tamaño del macho, la contribución del regalo, y el éxito de la cópula del macho. La duración de las mordidas del espolón de la tibia fué un predictor significativo de la contribución del regalo (F1,17 - 17.02, P < 0.001) y la magnitud del regalo abarcó entre el 0.2% y el 8% del peso del cuerpo del macho, indicando que las hembras reciben principalmente hemolinfa. Los machos grandes produjeron regalos más grandes que los machos pequeños (2.52 ± 0.59 mg vs 1.33 ± 0.28 mg, t17 = 1.88, P < 0.05) y era más probable que las hembras copularan con los machos más grandes. Si el tamaño del regalo influencia la adaptabilidad óptima reproductiva de las hembras, entonces los regalos nupciales pueden actuar un papel importante en la evolución del tamaño del cuerpo de los machos.

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