The function of nuptial feeding in insects: a review of empirical studies

  title={The function of nuptial feeding in insects: a review of empirical studies},
  author={Karim Vahed},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
  • K. Vahed
  • Published 1 February 1998
  • Biology
  • Biological Reviews
Nuptial feeding encompasses any form of nutrient transfer from the male to the female during or directly after courtship and/or copulation. In insects, nuptial gifts may take the form of food captured or collected by the male, parts, or even the whole of the male's body, or glandular products of the male such as salivary secretions, external glandular secretions, the spermatophore and substances in the ejaculate. Over the past decade, there has been considerable debate over the current function… 

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The effect of nuptial gift number on fertilization success in a Hawaiian swordtail cricket

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Resource-dependent nuptial feeding in Panorpa vulgaris: an honest signal for male quality

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Sexual conflict and the evolution of nuptial feeding

Fitness data suggest that males providing a small or even no gift are equally successful to their large gift-giving counterparts, while the population profiles indicate that at least half of these populations are evolving towards the near or complete loss of these cannibalistic gifts.

The influence of nuptial feeding and sperm transfer on the immunological cost of reproduction in the ground cricket Allonemobius socius

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Sexual conflict over nuptial gifts in insects.

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The role of male's anal horns in copulation of a scorpionfly

The anal horns of male D. magna seem to be a male adaptation evolved to overcome female mating resistance, by promoting male domination in copulation through increasing the duration of pre- and post-gift-providing copulatory stages against female resistance and by avoiding wasting of nuptial gifts.

Nuptial Gifts and Sexual Selection in Photinus Fireflies1

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Dual function of the bushcricket spermatophore

  • N. Wedell
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 1994
Analysis of comparative data of 19 species of bushcrickets suggests that there are essentially two types of nuptial gifts; those that function to protect the males’ ejaculate during insemination with low nutritional value and no apparent effect on female fecundity and those of lower quality that serve solely to protection the male’s ejaculate.

The chemistry of sexual selection.

  • T. EisnerJ. Meinwald
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1995
The moth Utetheisa ornatrix (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) is protected against predation by pyrrolizidine alkaloids that it sequesters as a larva from its foodplants, and females reinforce after copulation the choice mechanism they already exercise during courtship.

Male Nutrient Investment in the Lepidoptera: What Nutrients Should Males Invest?

Gwynne has devised a workable division of reproductive effort by retaining definitions of mating effort and parental effort but dividing mating effort into promiscuous and nonpromiscuous mating effort.

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The results show that males transferred very significant amounts of a mixture of 16 amino acids through the ejaculate and that females transferred these to the eggs they subsequently laid, suggesting a generalized investment.

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The hypothesis that the function of "excess" maledonated nutrition is mating effort that protects the ejaculate is rejected and courtship feeding in R. verticalis may represent parental effort whereby males invest in their own zygotes.

Courtship feeding in decorated crickets: is the spermatophylax a sham?

The present study suggests that as a food 'gift', the spermatophylax is a sham.

Courtship Feeding in Katydids (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): Investment in Offspring and in Obtaining Fertilizations

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Ejaculate substances that affect female insect reproductive physiology and behavior: Honest or arbitrary traits?*

Males of many insect species transfer, within the ejaculate, substances that render females sexually unreceptive and promote ovulation and oviposition. In this paper, I propose hypotheses for the