1. In sexually reproducing organisms, the energetic costs of spermatogenesis can be considerable, and can limit the reproductive potential of the males. In species where males mate more than once during the reproductive season, the costs of sperm production are generally predicted to result in a decrease of ejaculate size and quality with successive fertilizations. 2. In this study we examined the variation in ejaculate size among successive fertilizations in a long-lived freshwater crayfish species, Austropotamobius italicus. 3. Sexually active adult males of various sizes were allowed to mate repeatedly with different females on consecutive days. Trials for a given male ended when he copulated but did not release any sperm or refused to mate. 4. Males fertilized between 0 and 4 females, and most (42.5%) fertilized a single female. The overall number of females fertilized by a given male decreased with increasing male body size. Ejaculate size decreased markedly with consecutive fertilizations in a similar fashion among both large and small males, while simultaneously increasing with female body size. The total ejaculate size over successive fertilizations decreased with increasing male size. 5. Our study indicates that either sperm production or release involves non-trivial costs in freshwater crayfish, and suggests that large/old males may face greater difficulties in gamete release than small/young ones, as shown by the lower number of females fertilized by large compared with small males, which may reflect the ongoing senescence of their reproductive performance.
|Titolo:||Repeated matings and sperm depletion in the freshwater crayfish Austropotamobius italicus|
|Autori interni:||RUBOLINI, DIEGO (Primo)|
|Parole Chiave:||Crustacea; Energetic cost; Polygyny; Senescence; Sperm limitation|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1111/j.1365-2427.2007.01814.x|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|