ABS 2022
How Does Rearing Diet Influence Female Cricket Mating Behaviour?
Jenna, C Watson, Susan, M Bertram. Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Female mating preferences may be influenced by variation in condition. Condition, in turn, may be influenced by the acquisition and allocation of nutrients and the macronutrient ratio. Past research on how macronutrients impact cricket life history and behaviour has focused on adulthood; developmental effects need to be investigated. We fed juvenile female field crickets (Gryllus pennsylvanicus) diets that differed in protein:carbohydrate (P:C) ratio (high protein 3:1 P:C; high carbohydrate 1:3 P:C). We quantified each female’s food consumption and determined how diet influenced development time and adult size. We tested how developmental diet influenced quantified responsiveness and choosiness towards acoustic mate attraction signaling (chirp rate variation) using a track-ball. We also paired males and females and quantified mounting latency and spermatophore transfer in an open arena. Our experimental design allowed us to ascertain whether trackball behaviour correlates with open arena behaviour. Together our experiments allowed us to examine the effect of diet on condition and mating behavior and provide insight into the role nutrients have on female life-history traits.