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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Cyphoderris strepitans is a cricket-like insect found in Grand Teton National Park. Males perch in sagebrush and produce a calling song which draws sexually receptive females. Singing activity is nocturnal and begins in late May and early June. Because females typically consume a part of the male's hind wings during mating (Morris 1979, Dodson et al 1983) it is possible to follow in the field, the pairing opportunities of free-living males. In addition to sperm and the substance of their wings, males give the female a spermatophylax, and proteinaceous food gift which she eats (Gwynne 1983). To maximize such nutritional investments females should have been selected to pair with mature unmated males rather than with once-mated males; virgin males will be more capable than non-virgin (on average) of providing a maximally large and nutritious food gift (wing + spermatophylax). The objective of this research was to test the theoretical prediction that unmated males experience greater success than non-virgin males in securing a mate.