Discipline: Biological Sciences
Room: Virginia B
Fadeke Adeola - University of New Orleans
Co-Author(s): Simon Lailvaux, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
Mating interactions are rife with conflict because the evolutionary interests of males and females seldom coincide. Intersexual conflict modifies the opportunity, form, and intensity of sexual selection, yet the proximate factors affecting male coercive ability and female resistance are poorly understood. Male combat outcomes are often influenced by bite force, with superior biters being more likely to achieve victory over poorer biters in a range of species, including crickets. If good performers also achieve mating success through sexual coercion, then bite force might play a role in intersexual conflict as well. We tested the capacity of bite force to influence mating interactions in house crickets by altering male bite capacity through neuropharmacological manipulation. The invertebrate neurotransmitter octopamine both mediates aggression and underlies motivation to bite in male house crickets. By blocking octopamine receptors through application of an antagonist, epinastine, we tested the effects of reduced bite force on male mating success relative to either control males or males treated with excess octopamine. We show, using formal selection analysis, that male bite capacity influences sexual selection resulting from intersexual conflict in house crickets.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): University of New Orleans
Faculty Advisor: Simon Lailvaux, email@example.com
Role: I raised and mated the crickets, collected the bite force measurements of the crickets