Mantis males engage in riskier mating behavior if deprived of female access

Mantis males engage in riskier mating behavior if deprived of female access
Mantis males engage in riskier mating behavior if deprived of female access. Credit: Phil Hastings

Male praying mantises are more likely to engage in risky mating behavior if they have not had recent access to females, as reported Apr. 25 in the open access journal PLoS ONE. Female praying mantises are known for their cannibalistic behavior toward their mates, and males take a large risk when they attempt to reproduce.

In the current work, led by William Brown of State University of New York at Fredonia, the researchers found that males modulate this risk by altering their approach rate and courtship behavior depending on how recently they have had access to females.

Specifically, males that had not had recent access to mates approached females more rapidly and to closer proximity than did males who had daily female encounters. They also found that this higher-risk behavior resulted in higher rates of sexual cannibalism when paired with hungry females.

"Male cannibalism by females in praying mantids represents an extreme example of in which males risk the complete loss of future reproduction. Our results suggest that males have evolved to alter their acceptable risk of attack depending on mate availability", says Dr. Brown.


Explore further

Male mantids try to avoid sex cannibalism

More information: Brown WD, Muntz GA, Ladowski AJ (2012) Low Mate Encounter Rate Increases Male Risk Taking in a Sexually Cannibalistic Praying Mantis. PLoS ONE 7(4): e35377. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035377
Citation: Mantis males engage in riskier mating behavior if deprived of female access (2012, April 25) retrieved 20 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-mantis-males-engage-riskier-behavior.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Dug
Apr 25, 2012
Is it me or is the title completely illogical. If males are deprived of females, there is no mating - risky or not.

Apr 26, 2012
The sexually deprived men are more often engaged in sex with prostitutes, where they're risking the sexually transferable diseases. Does it have a sense for you?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more