The effect of male-male fight observation on female choice and offspring quality in Gryllus assimilis

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Loranger, Michelle




Theory suggests that behaviours previously thought only to play a role in intrasexual selection can also be co-opted to serve in as honest indicators of male quality. In Gryllus assimilis, males fight more aggressively in front of a female audience; their elevated aggression may serve as a mate attraction signal. I investigated how observing a fight influenced various measures of reproductive success. I had two treatments: (1) females observed a fight between two males or (2) females observed two non-interacting males. I then assessed female preference using dichotomous and no-choice tests. After mating, I allowed females to lay eggs and raised a subset their offspring to adulthood. Females were more likely to mount dominant males, regardless of whether they had watched the fight, but dominant males did not have increased fecundity, viability, or offspring size. Audience effects in this species may not have evolved due to eavesdropping.






Carleton University

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