Meeting Abstract

53.5  Thursday, Jan. 5  Performance, female choice and sexual conflict in crickets LAILVAUX, SP*; BARIYA, P; University of New Orleans; University of New ORleans

Whole-organism performance capacities such as bite force have been shown to influence male-male combat outcomes in a variety of animal species. However, support for female mating preferences for high-performance males is mixed at best. In contrast to preferring good performers, females may in fact choose to avoid mating with high-performance males if they are likely to suffer harassment from such males. However, the role of performance in affecting (or enabling) sexual conflict has seldom been considered. We conducted behavioral trials to test whether females prefer or avoid males exhibiting high bite force during mating interactions in house crickets, Acheta domestica. In addition, we also tested the hypothesis that high bite forces in females may prevent or curtail harassment by unattractive males.