Evolutionary Ecology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 240–250 | Cite as

Repeated matings offset costs of reproduction in female crickets

  • Dianne M. Burpee
  • Scott K. Sakaluk


Courtship food gifts can be a significant source of nutrition to females and costly for males to produce; hence, costs of reproduction should be reduced for multiple-mating females and increased for multiplemating males in a gift-giving species. We tested this hypothesis by experimentally manipulating mating opportunities of males and females of two cricket species,Gryllodes sigillatus, a gift-giving species andGryllus veletis, a non-gift-giving species. Females of both species consume the externally attached spermatophore after mating, but inG. sigillatus, the sperm-containing ampulla is accompanied by a large gelatinous spermatophylax. In both species, survival of mated females given limited access to males was reduced relative to virgin females, thus suggesting a cost of reproduction to females. However, females given unlimited mating opportunities lived as long as virgins and also produced significantly more offspring than limited-access females. These results suggest that benefits of repeated matings, particularly those arising through spermatophore consumption, offset costs of reproduction in females. Lack of a treatment by species interaction suggests that females of both species derive nutritional benefits through spermatophore consumption, and that any additional advantage to the consumption of the spermatophylax inG. sigillatus is offset by more frequent mating byG. veletis females. In contrast to females, varying mating opportunities had no effect on male survival, suggesting that mating effort is not very costly to males. Male survival increased linearly with body mass but only when males were food-deprived, suggesting that larger males possess greater initial energy reserves to sustain their longevity when food-stressed.


crickets costs of reproduction courtship feeding Gryllodes sigillatus Gryllus veletis spermatophore spermatophylax 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dianne M. Burpee
    • 1
  • Scott K. Sakaluk
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecology Group, Department of Biological SciencesIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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