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Sexual Conflict Over Remating in House Crickets: No Evidence of an Anti-aphrodisiac in Males' Ejaculates

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We tested the hypothesis that male house crickets (Acheta domesticus L.) transfer substances in their ejaculates that inhibit female receptivity by experimentally manipulating the amount of ejaculate that females received and recording their propensity to remate. In both virgin and non-virgin females, the length of time over which the spermatophore remained attached after an initial mating had no discernable effect on female latency to remating. This was true regardless of whether females were given the opportunity to remate immediately after an initial mating or prevented from remating until 24-h later. We conclude, therefore, that male A. domesticus do not transfer substances in their ejaculates that inhibit the sexual receptivity of females, at least over the short term. However, there was a marked difference in the remating propensity of once-mated and multiply-mated females, with multiply-mated females taking significantly longer to remate. These results suggest that female sexual receptivity changes in response to the gradual accumulation of sperm or ejaculatory products in the female's spermatheca over multiple matings.


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