Living With Cannibalistic Mates

Chinese Mantid

Chinese Mantid

In some matings of praying mantids, the female will consume the body of the male after mating is complete. Insect biologists have debated whether or not being consumed by his mate is beneficial to the male mantid. Brown and Barry* compared the nutritional state and egg production of female mantids (Tenodera sinensis) that consumed their mate and these that did not. They found significant amounts of amino acids from male somatic tissue in the cannibalistic females coupled with a higher egg number. They conclude that males eaten by their mate can produce more offspring from a single mating than males who escape their female mate uneaten.

*Brown WD, Barry KL. 2016. Sexual cannibalism increases male material investment in offspring: quantifying terminal reproductive effort in a praying mantis. Proc. R. Soc. B 283: 20160656.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.0656

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. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Living With Cannibalistic Mates

  1. Pingback: Living With Cannibalistic Mates – Entomo Planet

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