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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

On variation of polyandry in a bush-cricket, Metrioptera roeselii, in northern Europe

Kanuch, Peter; Low, Matthew; Kiehl, Berrit; Lundhagen, Anna


Patterns of polyandry in nuptial-gift-giving insects are often explained in terms of sexually antagonistic coevolution. However, the potential influence of environmental constraints and life- history traits on polyandry in these species is still largely unexplored. As an initial step in examining the role of these factors, this study measured the number of matings (spermatodoses per female) of female Roesel’s bush-crickets, Metrioptera roeselii Hagenbach (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae), along a latitudinal gradient in northern Europe (16 sites, 53.89–60.47° N). Females contained between 0 and 5 spermatodoses (mean ± SE: 1.7 ± 0.08; N = 114), with the degree of polyandry generally increasing at higher latitudes (approximately 0.12–0.3 matings per degree of latitude). As expected, female body size also had an influence on polyandry; the number of matings increased from small to moderately large individuals before declining. The field-based results suggested that there were potentially interesting interactions between environment, life-history traits, and patterns of polyandry in nuptial-gift-giving insect species, and these potentially interesting interactions are used to outline future research directions.


body mass; copulation frequency; latitude; Orthoptera; seasonality

Published in

Journal of Insect Science
2013, Volume: 13, number: 16, article number: 16

      SLU Authors

    • Kanuch, Peter