Document Type

Grand Teton National Park Report

First Page


Last Page



Male sagebrush crickets, Cyphoderris strepitans, offer an unusual nuptial food gift to females during copulation: females are permitted to feed on the hind wings of males and ingest hemolymph that flows from the resulting wounds. A previous study of this species showed that females experimentally precluded from wing feeding during initial copulations were more receptive to subsequent matings than females allowed to obtain a full blood meal during initial copulations (Johnson et al. 1999). The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that hormonal substances contained in the hemolymph of males and ingested by females during copulation function to decrease female receptivity to further matings, and thereby constitute male manipulation. We tested this hypothesis by allowing females to ingest one of the following substances prior to experimental pairings: adult male hemolymph, adult female hemolymph, or insect Ringer's solution. Experimental females were given the opportunity to mate 24 hours after treatments were established and latency to mating was used as a measure of female receptivity. There was no significant difference in latency to mating across treatments. The lack of a difference could be due to a decay in the activity of putative hormonal substances over the 24-hour period separating hemolymph delivery and mating trials. In addition, the simultaneous act of wing-feeding combined with intitial copulation may provide a behavioral primer that triggers any effect on female receptivity.