Foraging for mating gifts by female ground weta leads to sexual selection on both sexes Event as iCalendar

25 March 2019

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1 Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds St

Host: SBS

Contact info: Dr Chrissie Painting

Contact email: chrissie.painting@auckland.ac.nz

Speaker: Professor Darryl T Gwynne, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


In ‘short-tailed’ ground weta (genus Hemiandrus) both sexes invest in reproduction: males feed their mates, and females starve for several months while caring for offspring.

Both the structures of females and mating in the wild indicated strong sexual selection on females (of just the short-tailed species). Females appear to mate frequently to obtain food from males and thus survive the long starvation period while caring for offspring (just one clutch, thus female lifetime fitness). Multiple mating by females, in turn, is expected to impose sexual selection on males through increased sperm competition.

Dr Darryl Gwynne and colleagues used novel microsatellite markers for H. pallitarsis to determine mating frequency (number of males represented in female sperm stores) to reveal sexual selection on both females (a positive ‘Bateman’ slope of mating frequency x female fitness) and males (a skew in paternity).

For more information please contact Dr Chrissie Painting: chrissie.painting@auckland.ac.nz