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

Michelle Loranger
Theory suggests that behaviours previously thought only to play a role in intrasexual selection can also be co-opted to serve 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
more » ... males observed two non-interacting males. I then assessed female mate preference using dichotomous and no-choice tests. After mating, I allowed females to lay eggs and raised a subset of 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. iii
doi:10.22215/etd/2015-11071 fatcat:xgaevtvw55ffrbhoiqpnom2pqq