Evol Ecol Res 10: 269-280 (2008)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Diet quality mediates the effect of multiple mating on female Gryllus vocalis vocal field cricket lifetime reproductive success

Susan N. Gershman*

Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA

Address all correspondence to S.N. Gershman, Department of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4120, USA.
e-mail: sgershm@ilstu.edu


Questions: Is there a trade-off between reproduction and survival for female Gryllus vocalis field crickets? Does an experimental reduction in diet quality have an effect on the relationship between reproduction and survival? If females are experimentally manipulated to mate large numbers of times, what is the effect on female reproductive success and survival? Is there an interaction between diet quality and large numbers of matings on female lifetime reproductive success?

Organism: Laboratory colony of Gryllus vocalis vocal field crickets.

Methods: Females were fed either a high- or low-quality diet, and assigned to mate 5, 10 or 15 times. Fecundity, fertility, and longevity were recorded.

Results: Although females fed the high-quality diet gained fecundity and fertility benefits from mating at least 10 times, females fed the low-quality diet did not receive any reproductive benefits from multiple mating. Females that mated more times were more likely to die within 3 weeks of adult eclosion than females that mated fewer times. However, females that mated more times had better late-life survival than females that mated fewer times. Overall, mating did not have major negative effects on female survival, and thus female crickets did not experience a trade-off between reproduction and survival. However, a low-quality diet can prevent females from realizing the benefits of multiple mating.

Keywords: diet quality, fecundity, fertility, Gryllus vocalis, multiple mating, polyandry, survival.

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