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

Peter C. Mahoney, Nikolai J. Tatarnic, James C. O’Hanlon*, Kate D. L. Umbers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-201
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Ethology
    Volume35
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

    Keywords

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

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