Chemical signalling and context dependent polyandry in the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata (Mantodea: Mantidae)

Anuradhi Jayaweera*, Darshana N. Rathnayake, Barbara Dean, Katherine L. Barry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Multiple mating by females is a common phenomenon in nature. Polyandrous females may benefit from genetically diverse progeny that may survive better in a changing environment. Males in polyandrous systems, however, may not achieve their maximum paternity. Therefore, males are predicted to carry traits that prevent or reduce female polyandry. Praying mantids are predatory insects in which females can mate multiple times, predicting the evolution of male counter-strategies. However, the rate of polyandry and male strategies against polyandry are rarely studied in these insects. In the current study, we used false garden mantids Pseudomantis albofimbriata to quantify the rate of multiple mating when several males are present within close visual range of an unmated female. We further determined how long mated females stay unattractive after mating. We found that in a scramble scenario, the subsequent males stay with a copulating pair and attempt mating once the first male has completed copulation. These second copulation attempts are often successful. If only one male is attracted as a result of the initial pheromone plume, then polyandry is unlikely because the female will remain chemically unattractive for 8 days on average (thus preventing subsequent male attractions), which is longer than the usual latency to lay the first egg sac. From previous studies, we know that single male attraction is the most common scenario in this system in both natural and semi-natural contexts. Therefore, polyandry depends on the number of males attracted to the initial pheromone plume of the female and is likely to be a relatively uncommon phenomenon in this system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-468
Number of pages6
JournalAustral Entomology
Volume58
Issue number2
Early online date2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • female unattractiveness
  • multiple mating
  • pheromone
  • reproductive success
  • scramble competition

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