Published: 10 September 2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/cxgfzg3kcs.2
Erika M. Santana, Glauco Machado, Michael Kasumovic


Pre-maturation social environment experienced by females may affect their post-maturation reproductive strategies, including mating preferences and investment in offspring. Whether the pre-maturation social environment affects other aspects of females’ reproductive strategies, including the degree of polyandry and the post-copulatory decisions, is still an open question. To address this question, we performed laboratory experiments using the highly polyandrous cricket Teleogryllus commodus. Previous studies showed that juvenile females reared in an acoustic environment with male calls of different rates (MIX) are more responsive to highly-attractive calls than females reared in an environment with male calls of only high calling rates (HIGH). We exposed juvenile females to the same two acoustic environments (MIX and HIGH) and estimated their degree of polyandry, time of spermatophore retention, and offspring quality. We found that the acoustic environment did not change a female’s mating rate, indicating that the higher responsiveness shown in a previous study does not translate into higher degree of polyandry. An increased number of mates reduced offspring quality, suggesting that there is an optimum number of mates for females. Finally, when compared with females of the HIGH group, females of the MIX group retained spermatophores for shorter periods and produced higher quality offspring if mated with highly-attractive males. This finding suggests that the pre-maturation acoustic environment interacts with the quality of the males to determine post-copulatory female decisions and eventually offspring quality. Taken together, our results indicate that both the pre- and post-mating strategies of females are subject to socially induced plasticity.



Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Animal Behavior, Behavioral Ecology