Christopher D Mitchell

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Nuptial food gifts function to enhance male fertilization success, but their consumption is not always beneficial to females. In decorated crickets, the spermatophore transferred at mating includes a gelatinous mass, the spermatophylax, which is consumed by females after mating. However, females often discard spermatophylaxes shortly after mating, whereupon(More)
Female mate choice is one mechanism of sexual selection and, provided there is adequate genetic variation in the male traits that are the target of this selection, they will evolve via female choice. Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) are important in Drosophila mate choice, but relatively little is known about the underlying genetic architecture of CHC profiles(More)
permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Males can gather information on the risk and intensity of sperm competition from their social environment. Recent studies have implicated chemosensory cues, for instance cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) in insects, as a key source of this(More)
Females of many species obtain benefits by mating polyandrously, and often prefer novel males over previous mates. However, how do females recognise previous mates, particularly in the face of cognitive constraints? Female crickets appear to have evolved a simple but effective solution: females imbue males with their own cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) at(More)
Our expectations for the evolution of chemical signals in response to sexual selection are uncertain. How are chemical signals elaborated? Does sexual selection result in complexity of the composition or in altered quantities of expression? We addressed this in Drosophila pseudoobscura by examining male and female cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs) after 82(More)
Phenotypic traits that convey information about individual identity or quality are important in animal social interactions, and the degree to which such traits are influenced by environmental variation can have profound effects on the reliability of these cues. Using inbred genetic lines of the decorated cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus, we manipulated diet(More)
Cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) play an essential role in mate recognition in insects but the form and intensity of sexual selection on CHCs has only been evaluated in a handful of studies, and never in a natural population. We quantified sexual selection operating on CHCs in a wild population of sagebrush crickets, a species in which nuptial feeding by(More)
Maternal provisioning can have profound effects on offspring phenotypes, or maternal effects, especially early in life. One ubiquitous form of provisioning is in the makeup of egg. However, only a few studies examine the role of specific egg constituents in maternal effects, especially as they relate to maternal selection (a standardized selection gradient(More)
Debates about how coevolution of sexual traits and preferences might promote evolutionary diversification have permeated speciation research for over a century. Recent work demonstrates that the expression of such traits can be sensitive to variation in the social environment. Here, we examined social flexibility in a sexually selected male trait-cuticular(More)
Oxidative damage has been proposed as a potential mechanism underlying a life history tradeoff between survival and reproduction. However, evidence that reproduction is associated with increased oxidative damage is equivocal, and some studies have found that breeding females exhibit reduced, rather than elevated, levels of oxidative damage compared to(More)