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Data for: Increased male mating success in the presence of prey and rivals in a sexually cannibalistic mantis

Citation

Burke, Nathan; Holwell, Gregory (2021), Data for: Increased male mating success in the presence of prey and rivals in a sexually cannibalistic mantis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.59zw3r26b

Abstract

Pre-copulatory sexual cannibalism—or cannibalism without mating—is expected to promote the evolution of male strategies that enhance mating success and reduce the risk of cannibalism, such as preferentially approaching feeding females. Sexual selection on male competitiveness has the potential to alter male mating decisions in the face of cannibalism risk, but such effects are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of prey availability and male-male competition on mating incidence in the highly cannibalistic Springbok mantis, Miomantis caffra. We found that matings were initiated more rapidly and more often in the presence of prey, suggesting that females distracted with foraging may be less of a threat. Competition between males also hastened the onset of copulation and led to higher mating success, with very large effects occurring in the presence of both prey and competitors, indicating that intrasexual competition may intensify attraction to foraging females. Taken together, our results suggest that pre-copulatory cannibalism has selected for male preference for foraging females, and that males adjust their mating strategy to both the risk of competition and the threat of cannibalism.

Methods

Data were collected in a fully factorial laboratory experiment.

Funding

University of Auckland