Sperm competition models predict that males should adjust their sperm expenditure according to the risk and/or intensity of sperm competition. In this paper, we analysed copulatory behaviour of both sexes and sperm expenditure in relation to female mating status (virgin or mated) in the freshwater crayfish Austropotamobius italicus, a species where males have been reported to feed on and remove sperm laid by other males. The same females were allowed to be inseminated sequentially by two males, and we compared the sexual behaviours of partners between the first (virgin females) and the second mating (mated females). We found that female resistance did not differ between the first and the second mating, nor males refused or took more time to mount a mated female. However, when mating with a mated female, males reached an effective copulation position significantly later. This occurred because second-mating males removed, by eating, all or most spermatophores previously deposited by first males. As removal was often incomplete, this resulted in a larger amount of sperm being deposited on female ventral parts after the second mating, although second males did not allocate more sperm to mated females than first males did. Thus, the peculiar mode of sperm competition, where males remove previously deposited sperm, and the consequent predictable strong last male prevalence in paternity likely led to the observed lack of adjustment of sperm expenditure to female mating status in this species.
|Titolo:||Effects of female mating status on copulation behaviour and sperm expenditure in the freshwater crayfish Austropotamobius italicus|
|Parole Chiave:||Copulation; Crustaceans; Multiple mating; Sperm competition; Sperm expenditure|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1007/s00265-006-0301-2|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|