Mating With Hungry Predators

Pseudomantis albofimbriata

Pseudomantis albofimbriata
Photo: Mantis Study Group

Females of the False Garden Mantid, Pseudomantis albofimbriata are known to consume their mate on occasion. The male sometimes lives to mate again but not always. Headless males are capable of mating, but do not survive long afterward. Females can consume the males to gain additional nutrients. What factors determine whether or not the female consumes the male?

Katherine Barry* studied cannibalism by females that were fed diets differing in quality. Females with very poor quality diet had lower body density and produced fewer offspring. For males, such females are a poor mate choice. However, these females were more attractive to males than females fed a better quality diet with higher body density and fecundity. By consuming the males, poor quality females were able to increase their fecundity significantly. The males may be victims of false adversing by females.

*Katherine L. Barry. 2014. Sexual deception in a cannibalistic mating system? Testing the Femme Fatale hypothesis.
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1428

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

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