Social isolation increases male aggression toward females in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus
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Social isolation has often been reported to facilitate male aggressiveness in various animal species. If social isolation also escalates male aggressive behavior towards females, the mating success of the aggressive males will be low. This study evaluated the effect of social isolation on mating behavior in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus, which has traditionally been considered to be an asocial species. The results showed that social isolation from same-sex individuals enhanced male aggressiveness to females, and the mating success of aggressive males was reduced under the experimental conditions. More aggressive males exhibited a longer latency to court than less aggressive males. These results suggest that because male aggressiveness causes a delay in courtship, aggressive males may have reduced mating success. This demonstrated that social relationships are a critical factor affecting male mating success, even if the species is normally considered solitary.
KeywordsFemale preference Male–male contest Mating behavior Social experience
I am grateful to Dr. Hiroyuki Hirayama for comments on my experimental design. I also thank Dr. Sho Furuichi, and Dr. Yuya Fukano for the reference collection. Dr. Gadi V. P. Reddy provided helpful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. The manuscript was greatly improved by the valuable comments of three anonymous reviewers.