Are attractive male crickets better able to pay the costs of an immune challenge?

Abstract

Reproduction and immunity are fitness-related traits that trade-off with each other. Parasite-mediated theories of sexual selection suggest, however, that higher-quality males should suffer smaller costs to reproduction-related traits and behaviours (e.g., sexual display) from an immune challenge because these males possess more resources with which to deal with the challenge. We used Gryllus texensis field crickets to test the prediction that attractive males should better maintain the performance of fitness-related traits (e.g., calling effort) in the face of an immune challenge compared with unattractive males. We found no support for our original predictions. However, that immune activation causes attractive males to significantly increase their calling effort compared with unattractive males suggests that these males might terminally invest in order to compensate for decreased future reproduction.

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1501

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Kelly2015AreAM, title={Are attractive male crickets better able to pay the costs of an immune challenge?}, author={Clint D. Kelly and Melissa S.C. Telemeco and Lyric C. Bartholomay and Susan G Bertram}, booktitle={PeerJ}, year={2015} }