Sperm utilization patterns in Gryllus integer (orthoptera: gryllidae
Backus, Vickie Lynn.
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Sperm competition is the competition for fertilizations between ejaculates, within a female, following multiple mating. There are four sperm utilization or precedence patterns: first male precedence, where the first male to mate fertilizes most of the eggs laid by a female; last male precedence, where the last male to mate fertilizes most of the eggs laid by a female; "all-or-none" pattern, where sperm from either male fertilizes all the eggs laid by a female but which male's sperm that is used is random; or sperm mixing, where sperm from each male is used equally in fertilizing eggs laid by a female. Intermediate utilization patterns are also possible. Sperm competition occurs in a wide variety of insect species as well as other animals. This study was undertaken to study sperm competition in the field cricket, Gryllus integer. Four experiments were conducted: a radiation and sterilization experiment, a diapause experiment, and 2 competition experiments. It was found that 7,000 rad of gamma radiation sterilized adult ~ integer males. There was no diapause in the laboratory in ~ integer eggs. In the first competition experiment, three groups of females were used: females mated with a normal male, then with a second normal male (NN group); females mated with a normal male, and then with a sterile male (NR group); and females mated with a sterile male, and then with a normal male (RN group). The results obtained from this experiment showed that the mean proportion of eggs hatched was significantly different between 3 groups of females, with the proportion hatched much greater in the NN group than in either the NR or RN groups. The pattern for the proportion of eggs hatched following a double mating most closely resembled a pattern expected if sperm mixing is occurring. Results obtained in the replicate competition experiment showed that the mean proportion of eggs hatched for the females in the NR group was significantly lower than the proportion hatched in the other two groups. This also supports a model of sperm mixing as a precedence pattern. Values calculated following Boorman and Parker (1976), for the proportion of eggs fertilized by the second male to mate following a double mating, were 0.57 in competition experiment 1 and 0.62 in the replicate. These values indicate that sperm mixing occurs in~ integer.