On the discovery of a male morph with a novelty alternative mating tactic in the neotropical cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta Orthoptera: Gryllidae)

  • Anahi Elias-Quevedo
  • Raúl Cueva del CastilloEmail author


Several animal taxa exhibit discrete male phenotypes, which are related to alternative mating tactics. In this study, we describe a new male phenotype and mating behavior of the cricket species Macroanaxipha macilenta. The most common male phenotype shows male-biased sexual size dimorphism, with wider forewings than those of the new male phenotype. Wide-forewing males produce longer and louder calling songs than narrow-forewing males, and after attracting a female, the wide-forewing male transfers a spermatophore during a 21-s copulation. On the other hand, narrow-forewing males occur at a low frequency in the population (< 20%), produce short whisper calls, and copulate twice with the female. In each copulation, the narrow-forewing male transfers one spermatophore. The first one is removed and eaten by the female shortly after copulation. Then, if the female stays near the male, they copulate again, and a second spermatophore is transferred to the females’ genitalia. Mating duration in narrow-forewing males can last up to 12 min. Both male morphs may represent alternative mating tactics.


Cricket Orthoptera Mating behavior Alternative mating tactics 



We thank M. A. Serrano-Meneses for his comments and valuable suggestions on an earlier version of the manuscript. Valuable suggestions on the manuscript also were made by the editor, Judith X. Ponce-Wainer, David N. Fisher and two anonymous reviewers. Anahi Elias-Quevedo acknowledges the Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and CONACyT for providing her with a scholarship to further her MSc studies (no. 385462).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and institutional guidelines for the care and use for animals were followed.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de EcologíaFES Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UBIPROTlalnepantlaMexico

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