Mate guarding and male mate choice in the chameleon grasshopper Kosciuscola tristis (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

Abstract

In the wild, male chameleon grasshoppers (Kosciuscola tristis) are frequently observed mounted on the back of females even when not in copula, and will fight off other usurping males. If this behaviour is mate guarding and reflects investment in male mate choice, then we expect males to preferably guard females based on reliable cues of quality. Cues for female quality likely include female size and egg development that together may indicate fecundity. We investigated male mate choice in the field expressed as mate-guarding preference, by comparing size and egg development in guarded and unguarded females. We found no difference between guarded and unguarded females in measures of fecundity or body size. The majority of females sampled did not contain any viable eggs. This finding suggests that male K. tristis indiscriminately guard females in a scramble mating system.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Alcock J (1994) Postinsemination associations between males and females in insects: the mate-guarding hypothesis. Annu Rev Entomol 39:1–21

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Amundsen T, Forsgren E (2001) Male mate choice selects for female coloration in a fish. Proc Natl Acad Sci 98:13155–131160. doi:10.1073/pnas.211439298

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. Barry KL, Kokko H (2010) Male mate choice: why sequential choice can make its evolution difficult. Anim Behav 80:163–169. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.04.020

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bonduriansky R (2001) The evolution of male mate choice in insects: a synthesis of ideas and evidence. Biol Rev 76:305–339. doi:10.1017/s1464793101005693

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Butlin RK, Woodhatch CW, Hewitt GM (1987) Male spermatophore investment increases female fecundity in a grasshopper. Evolution 41:221–225. doi:10.2307/2408987

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Dougherty LR, Shuker DM (2014) Precopulatory sexual selection in the seed bug Lygaeus equestris: a comparison of choice and no-choice paradigms. Anim Behav 89:207–214

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Edward DA, Chapman T (2011) The evolution and significance of male mate choice. Trends Ecol Evol 26:647–654. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2011.07.012

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Elias DO, Sivalinghem S, Mason AC et al (2014) Mate-guarding courtship behaviour: tactics in a changing world. Anim Behav 97:25–33

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Estrada C, Yildizhan S, Schulz S, Gilbert LE (2010) Sex-specific chemical cues from immatures facilitate the evolution of mate guarding in Heliconius butterflies. Proc R Soc Lond B 277:407–413

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Gaskett AC, Herberstein ME, Downes BJ, Elgar MA (2004) Changes in male mate choice in a sexually cannibalistic orb-web spider (Araneae: Araneidae). Behaviour 141:1197–1210

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Grafen A, Ridley M (2004) A model of mate guarding. J Theor Biol 102:549–567

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Green K, Osborne W (1994) Wildlife of the Australian snow country. Reed, Sydney

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hill GE (1993) Male mate choice and the evolution of female plumage coloration in the house finch. Evolution 47:1515–1525

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Jarrige A, Kassis A, Schmoll T, Goubalt M (2016) Recently mated males of a lek-mating insect intensify precopulatory mate guarding under male competition. Anim Behav 117:21–34

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Kureck IM, Neumann A, Foitzik S (2011) Wingless ant males adjust mate-guarding behaviour to the competitive situation in the nest. Anim Behav 82:339–346

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Lange AB, Loughton BG (1985) A oviposition-stimulating factor in the male accessory reproductive gland of the locust, Locusta migratoria. Gen Comp Endocrinol 57:208–215

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. McFadden DL (1973) Conditional logit analysis of qualitative choice behavior. In: Zarembka P (ed) Frontiers in econometrics. Academic, New York

    Google Scholar 

  18. Murtaugh MP, Denlinger DL (1985) Physiological regulation of long-term oviposition in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus. J Insect Physiol 31:611–617

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Parker GA (1974) Courtship persistence and female-guarding as male time investment strategies. Behaviour 48:157–184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Pickford R, Ewen AB, Gillott C (1969) Male accessory gland substance: an egg-laying stimulant in Melanoplus sanguinipes (F). (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Can J Zool 47:1199–1203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Preston BT, Stevenson IR, Pemberton JM et al (2005) Male mate choice influences female promiscuity in Soay sheep. Proc R Soc B 272:365–373. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2977

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  22. R Development Core Team (2011) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna

    Google Scholar 

  23. Reinhold K, Kurtz J, Enquvist L (2002) Cryptic male choice: sperm allocation strategies when female quality varies. J Evol Biol 15:201–209

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Simmons LW (2001) Sperm competition and its evolutionary consequences in the insects. Princeton University Press, Princeton

    Google Scholar 

  25. Simmons LW, Llorens T, Schinzio M et al (1994) Sperm competition selects for male mate choice and protandry in the bushcricket, Requena verticalis (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). Anim Behav 47:117–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Slatyer RA, Nash MA, Miller AD et al (2014) Strong genetic structure corresponds to small-scale geographic breaks in th Australian alpine grasshopper Kosciuscola tristis. BMC Evol Biol 14:204

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  27. Tatarnic NJ, Umbers KDL, Song H (2013) Molecular phylogeny of the Kosciuscola grasshoppers endemic to the Australian alpine and montane regions. Invertebr Syst 27:307–316

    Google Scholar 

  28. Umbers KDL (2011) Turn the temperature to turquoise: cues for colour change in the male chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis) (Orthoptera: Acrididae). J Insect Physiol 57:1198–1204

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Umbers KDL, Tatarnic NJ, Holwell GI, Herberstein ME (2012) Ferocious fighting between male grasshoppers. PLoS One 7:e49600

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  30. Umbers KDL, Tatarnic NJ, Holwell GI, Herberstein ME (2013) Bright turquoise as in intraspecific signal in the chameleon grasshopper (Kosciuscola tristis). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 67:439–447

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Zeileis A, Kleiber C, Jackman S (2008) Regression models for count data in R. J Stat Softw 27:1–25

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This project was facilitated by funding from the Australian Biological Resources Study and in-kind support from Thredbo Sports, NSW. We thank P. Lagos and O. Kazakova for specimen collection, M. Herberstein for guidance and feedback, and A. Allen for statistical advice. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to James C. O’Hanlon.

Ethics declarations

The authors declare no conflicts of interest. All animals in this study were collected under permit from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and were studied in adherence with Australian ethical research legislation.

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mahoney, P.C., Tatarnic, N.J., O’Hanlon, J.C. et al. Mate guarding and male mate choice in the chameleon grasshopper Kosciuscola tristis (Orthoptera: Acrididae). J Ethol 35, 197–201 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10164-017-0509-9

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sexual selection
  • Mating behaviour
  • Alpine biology
  • Sperm competition