Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Grand Exhibit Hall (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
While mating with attractive males can have both direct and indirect benefits for a female, there can also be costs for that female, such as decreased lifespan. We chose to first measure the attractiveness of male Acheta domesticus and secondly determine the costs of mating with attractive or unattractive males. We hypothesized that, when given a choice between two males, females would choose the larger of the two and that mating with attractive males will decrease female life span to a greater degree than mating with unattractive males. One female was paired with two randomly-selected males and the order in which the males were mounted observed. A second round of trials was then conducted using two males that had both been mounted first or both mounted second from the previous round. Males that were mounted first in two successive trials were larger than males that were mounted last in two successive trials. Currently we are examining the impact of mating with attractive versus unattractive males and expect to see lower lifespan in females mating with attractive males and will also examine egg production. Our results will shed light on cues that female A. domesticus use in mate choice as well as some of the consequences and potential benefits of mating with attractive males.