Reproduction in the temperate crayfish, Orconectes rusticus: intermale aggression, copulatary behaviour, and sperm competition
Snedden, William Andrew.
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The chelipeds of Orconectes rusticus are sexually dimorphic; males possessing the larger. Males use their chelae in intermale aggressive interactions, both to threaten, and assault opp,onents. In dyadic interactions males with larger chelae were dominant over otherwise physically similar opponents. A high frequency of attack behaviour, coupled with a low frequency of threats during these interactions indicates that actual physical contact is required for opponent assessment. Large clawed males oriented females into the copulatory position faster than small clawed males. Females more frequently escaped the precopulatory-grasp attempts of small clawed males. Additionally, male-female pairs that included a large clawed male remained in copula longer than pairs that included a small clawed male. Sperm of the second male to mate took precedence over the sperm of the primary male. Sperm precedence was incomplete; about 900/0 paternity accrued to the second male.