Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (2): 189-197, 2014 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2014.019

Comparison of the mating behaviour of a bush cricket in the laboratory and the field: Calling activity and mating frequency of a long-winged species, Phaneroptera falcata (Ensifera: Tettigoniidae)

Jörg SAMIETZ1, Jens SCHUMACHER1, Klaus REINHARDT2,*
1 Friedrich-Schiller-University, Institute of Ecology, Dornburger Str. 159, D-07743 Jena, Germany
2 Animal Evolutionary Ecology, University of Tuebingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, D-72076 Tuebingen, Germany; e-mail: k.reinhardt@uni-tuebingen.de

Bush crickets are a model group for testing hypotheses in sexual selection, but much of the information is based on laboratory observations on wingless or short-winged species, which may restrict their generality. Here we describe aspects of the mating behaviour of the long-winged European bush cricket Phaneroptera falcata (Poda, 1761). Both in the laboratory and the field, diel calling followed a normal, though slightly left-skewed distribution, peaking about three hours after sunset or lights-off. Under bright greenhouse conditions, when the light was suddenly switched off, calling occurred only after the onset of darkness. Decreasing light intensity may trigger the start of calling activity. In the field, calling decreased from midnight onwards, which may be related to a decrease in temperature. The sequence of events during copulation was identical in the laboratory and the field. However, in two of 14 copulations documented in the field, a pre-copulatory behaviour was observed that resembled the putative removal and ingestion of rival sperm. Previous suggestions that P. falcata (Poda) is monogamous are rejected on the basis of both laboratory and field results. In the laboratory males and females mated every 2.3 and 3.6 days, respectively. We introduce a simple way to calculate the average frequency of mating in the field, based on the observation that at any one time 3% of all the individuals are recorded mating and copulation lasts 15 min. We estimate that on average P. falcata (Poda) mates once per day. More generally, our results show it is important for evolutionary conclusions to measure behaviourial data in the field.

Keywords: Ensifera, Tettigoniidae, Phaneroptera falcata, multiple mating, nuptial gift, polyandry, reproductive behaviour, sperm competition

Received: August 23, 2013; Accepted: December 2, 2013; Prepublished online: February 24, 2014; Published: May 5, 2014

Download citation

References

  1. Brown W.D. 1999: Mate choice in tree crickets and their kin. - Annu. Rev. Entomol. 44: 371-396 Go to original source...
  2. del Castillo R.C. & Gwynne D.T. 2007: Increase in song frequency decreases spermatophore size: correlative evidence of a macroevolutionary trade-off in katydids (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). - J. Evol. Biol. 20: 1028-1036 Go to original source...
  3. Gerhardt U. 1913: Copulation und Spermatophoren von Grylliden und Locustiden I/II. - Zool. Jb. Okol. Geogr. System. Tiere 35: 415-532
  4. Gerhardt U. 1919: Neue Studien ueber Copulation und Spermatophore von Grylliden und Locustiden. - Zool. Jb. Okol. Geogr. System. Tiere 41: 293-327
  5. Grasse P.P. 1924: Etude biologique sur Phaneroptera 4-punctata Br. et Ph. falcata Scop. - Bull. Biol. Fr. Belg. 58: 454-472
  6. Gwynne D.T. 1997: The evolution of edible "sperm sacs" and other forms of courtship feedings in crickets, katydids and their kin. In Choe J.J. & Crespi B.J. (eds): The Evolution of Mating Systems in Insects and Arachnids. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, pp. 110-129
  7. Gwynne D.T 2008: Sexual conflict over nuptial gifts in insects. - Annu. Rev. Entomol. 53: 83-101 Go to original source...
  8. Gwynne D.T. & Lorch P.D. 2013: Mating failures as a consequence of sexual selection on females. - Entomol. Exp. Appl. 146: 3-10 Go to original source...
  9. Harz K. 1957: Die Geradfluegler Mitteleuropas. Gustav Fischer, Jena, 494 pp
  10. Heller K.-G. 1992: Risk shift between males and females in the pair-forming behaviour of bushcrickets. - Naturwissenschaften 79: 89-91 Go to original source...
  11. Heller K.-G. & von Helversen O. 1990: Survival of a phaneropterid bush cricket studied by a new marking technique (Orthoptera: Phaneropteridae). - Entomol. Gen. 15: 203-208 Go to original source...
  12. Heller K.-G. & von Helversen D. 1991: Operational sex ratio and individual mating frequencies in two bushcricket species (Orthoptera, Tettigoniodiea, Poecilimon). - Ethology 89: 211-228 Go to original source...
  13. Heller K.-G. & von Helversen D. 1993: Calling behaviour in bushcrickets of the genus Poecilimon with differing communication systems (Orthoptera: Tettigonioidea: Phaneropteridae). - J. Insect Behav. 6: 361-377 Go to original source...
  14. Hockham L.R., Graves J.A. & Ritchie M.G. 2004: Sperm competition and the level of polyandry in a bushcricket with large nuptial gifts. - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 57: 149-154 Go to original source...
  15. Kanuch P., Kiehl B., Low M. & Cassel-Lundhagen A. 2013: On variation of polyandry in a bush-cricket, Metrioptera roeselii, in northern Europe. - J. Insect Sci. 13: 16
  16. Kvarnemo C. & Simmons L.W. 1999: Variance in female quality, operational sex ratio and male mate choice in a bushcricket. - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 45: 245-252 Go to original source...
  17. Lehmann G.U.C. 2012: Weighing costs and benefits of mating in bushcrickets (Insecta: Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), with an emphasis on nuptial gifts, protandry and mate density. - Front. Zool. 9: 19 Go to original source...
  18. Lehmann G.U.C. & Lehmann A.W. 2009: Condition-dependent spermatophore size is correlated with male's age in a bushcricket (Orthoptera: Phaneropteridae). - Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 96: 354-360 Go to original source...
  19. McCartney J., Kokko H., Heller K.-G. & Gwynne D.T. 2012: The evolution of sex differences in mate searching when females benefit: new theory and a comparative test. - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 279: 1225-1232 Go to original source...
  20. Ono T., Siva-Jothy M.T. & Kato A. 1989: Removal and subsequent ingestion of rival's semen during copulation in a tree cricket. - Physiol. Entomol. 14: 195-200 Go to original source...
  21. Reinhardt K., Koehler G. & Schumacher J. 1999: Females of the grasshopper Chorthippus parallelus (Zett.) do not remate for fresh sperm. - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 266: 2003-2009 Go to original source...
  22. Reinhardt K., Samietz J., Wagner G., Opitz S. & Koehler G. 2002: Diel and seasonal mating peaks in grasshopper populations (Caelifera: Acrididae). - J. Orthopt. Res. 10: 263-269 Go to original source...
  23. Reinhardt K., Webb S., Koehler G. & Childs D. 2007: Field mating rates in female meadow grasshoppers, Chorthippus parallelus, estimated from sperm counts. - Ecol. Entomol. 32: 637-642 Go to original source...
  24. Reinhold K. 1999: Paternal investment in Poecilimon veluchianus bushcrickets: beneficial effects of nuptial feeding on offspring viability. - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 45: 293-299 Go to original source...
  25. Samietz J. 1994: Untersuchungen zur Populationsgefaehrdungsgradanalyse zweier Heuschreckenarten (Saltatoria) in Halbtrockenrasen: Stenobothrus lineatus (Panzer) 1796 und Phaneroptera falcata (Poda) 1761. Thesis, University of Jena
  26. Samietz J. & Berger U. 1997: Evaluation of movement parameters in insects - bias and robustness with regard to resight numbers. - Oecologia 110: 40-49 Go to original source...
  27. Simmons L.W. 1993: Some constraints on reproduction for male bush-cricket, Requena verticalis (Orthoptera, Tettigoniidae) - diet, size and parasite load. - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 32: 135-139 Go to original source...
  28. Simmons L.W. & Kvarnemo C. 1997: Ejaculate expenditure by male bushcrickets decreases with sperm competition intensity. - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 264: 1203-1208 Go to original source...
  29. Simmons L.W., Craig M., Llorens T., Schinzig M. & Hosken D. 1993: Bushcricket spermatophores vary in accord with sperm competition and parental investment theory. - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 251: 183-186 Go to original source...
  30. Simmons L.W., Beveridge M. & Kennington W.J. 2007: Polyandry in the wild: temporal changes in female mating frequency and sperm competition intensity in natural populations of the tettigoniid Requena verticalis. - Mol. Ecol. 16: 4613-4623 Go to original source...
  31. Tauber E., Cohen D., Greenfield M.D. & Pener M.P. 2001: Duet singing and female choice in the bushcricket Phaneroptera nana. - Behaviour 138: 411-430 Go to original source...
  32. Vahed K. 1998: The function of nuptial feeding in insects: A review of empirical studies. - Biol. Rev. 73: 43-78 Go to original source...
  33. Vahed K. 2006: Larger ejaculate volumes are associated with a lower degree of polyandry across bushcricket taxa. - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 273: 2387-2394 Go to original source...
  34. Vahed K 2007: Comparative evidence for a cost to males of manipulating females in bushcrickets. - Behav. Ecol. 18: 499-506 Go to original source...
  35. Vahed K. & Gilbert F.S. 1996: Differences across taxa in nuptial gift size correlate with differences in sperm number and ejaculate volume in bushcrickets (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). - Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (B) 263: 1257-1265 Go to original source...
  36. Vahed K., Parker D.J. & Gilbert J.D.J. 2011a: Larger testes are associated with a higher level of polyandry, but a smallerejaculate volume, across bushcricket species (Tettigoniidae). - Biol. Lett. 7: 261-264 Go to original source...
  37. Vahed K., Lehmann A.W., Gilbert J.D.J. & Lehmann G.U.C. 2011b: Increased copulation duration prior to ejaculate transfer is associated with larger spermatophores, and male genital titillators, across bushcricket taxa. - J. Evol. Biol. 24: 1960-1968 Go to original source...
  38. Villarreal S.M. & Gilbert C. 2013: Female acoustic reply to variation in the male call in a duetting katydid, Scudderia pistillata. - Behaviour 150: 525-546 Go to original source...
  39. Voigt C.C., Lehmann G.U.C., Michener R.H. & Joachimski M.M. 2006: Nuptial feeding is reflected in tissue nitrogen isotope ratios of female katydids. - Funct. Ecol. 20: 656-661 Go to original source...
  40. Voigt C.C., Kretzschmar A.S., Speakman J.R. & Lehmann G.U.C. 2008: Female katydids fuel their metabolism with nuptial gifts. - Biol. Lett. 4: 476-478 Go to original source...
  41. von Helversen D. & von Helversen O. 1991: Pre-mating sperm removal in the bushcricket Metaplastes ornatus Ramme 1931 (Orthoptera, Tettigonoidea, Phaneropteridae). - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 28: 391-196 Go to original source...
  42. Wedell N. 1998: Sperm protection and mate assessment in the bushcricket Coptaspis sp. 2 (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). - Anim. Behav. 56: 357-363 Go to original source...
  43. von Helversen D. & von Helversen O. 1991: Pre-mating sperm removal in the bushcricket Metaplastes ornatus Ramme 1931 (Orthoptera, Tettigonoidea, Phaneropteridae). - Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 28: 391-196 Go to original source...
  44. Wedell N. 1998: Sperm protection and mate assessment in the bushcricket Coptaspis sp. 2 (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae). - Anim. Behav. 56: 357-363 Go to original source...