The function of mate guarding in a field cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllidae;Teleogryllus natalensis otte and cade)
Three hypotheses relating to the function of postcopulatory mate guarding were tested for the cricketTeleogryllus natalensis. The hypothesis that guarding allows the male to remain with the female for repeated matings was rejected. This was because the mean intercopulatory interval for maleT. natalensis was found to be nearly twice as long as the mean duration of guarding. Nor do the results provide evidence to support the hypothesis that guarding functions to prevent copulation attempts by rival males (the rival exclusion hypothesis): the presence of a rival male was found to have no significant effect on the duration of spermatophore attachment for either guarded or unguarded females. The results do, however, support a third hypothesis, namely, that guarding functions to prevent the female from removing the spermatophore ampulla before complete sperm transfer. As predicted by this hypothesis, the presence of a guarding male was found to have a significant positive effect on the duration of spermatophore attachment. Further support for this hypothesis was provided by the fact that there was a significant positive correlation between the duration of mate guarding and the duration of spermatophore attachment.
Key wordsmate guarding Gryllidae Teleogryllus
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