Research Reports: Mate Choice in Ground Crickets (Gryllidae: Nemboiinae)

T. G. Forrest, J. L. Sylvester Jr., Sam Testa III, Stephanie W. Smith, Andrea Dinep, Tanya L. Cupit, J. M. Huggins, Kathryn L. Atkins, Micky Eubanks


To infer mating preferences of female Neonemobius sp., we monitored their proximity to males paired in laboratory enclosures. Females were found significantly more often near the larger of the males, and more often near a calling male than a silent one. The proportion of time individual males were observed calling was significantly correlated with male size. Females did not prefer virgin to mated males. When allowed to mate, females mated with the larger of the pair 5 of 7 times. Female preference for large males may result from selection on females to obtain larger investments from males. Female nemobiine crickets feed on glandular secretions provided by males during mating. Large males may offer more material, and females may use male calling songs as a cue to male size.

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