Free amino acids as phagostimulants in cricket nuptial gifts: support for the 'Candymaker' hypothesis

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/592794
Title:
Free amino acids as phagostimulants in cricket nuptial gifts: support for the 'Candymaker' hypothesis
Authors:
Warwick, Stuart; Vahed, Karim; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen, J.
Abstract:
Nuptial gifts that are manufactured by the male are found in numerous insect species and some spiders, but there have been very few studies of the composition of such gifts. If, as has been proposed recently, nuptial gifts represent sensory traps, males will be selected to produce gifts that are attractive to females but such gifts will not necessarily provide the female with nutritional benefits (the 'Candymaker' hypothesis). We examined the free amino acid content of the spermatophylax of the cricket Gryllodes sigillatus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The spermatophylax (dry weight) consisted of approximately 7 per cent free amino acids. The free amino acid composition was highly imbalanced, with a low proportion of essential amino acids (18.7%) and a high proportion of proline and glycine. The main free amino acids found in the spermatophylax appeared to act as phagostimulants: the duration of feeding on artificial gels by females was positively related to the free amino acid content of the gels. The results therefore suggest that males use free amino acids to 'sweeten' a relatively low-value food item. A possible function of glycine in inhibiting female movement is also proposed.
Affiliation:
University of Oxford; University of Derby
Citation:
Warwick, S, Vahed, K, Raubenheimer, D, & Simpson, S n.d., 'Free amino acids as phagostimulants in cricket nuptial gifts: support for the 'Candymaker' hypothesis', Biology Letters, 5, 2, pp. 194-196
Publisher:
The Royal Society
Journal:
Biology Letters
Issue Date:
20-Jan-2009
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/592794
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2008.0731
Additional Links:
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/cgi/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0731
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
1744-9561; 1744-957X
Appears in Collections:
Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorWarwick, Stuarten
dc.contributor.authorVahed, Karimen
dc.contributor.authorRaubenheimer, Daviden
dc.contributor.authorSimpson, Stephen, J.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-04T14:33:19Zen
dc.date.available2016-01-04T14:33:19Zen
dc.date.issued2009-01-20en
dc.identifier.citationWarwick, S, Vahed, K, Raubenheimer, D, & Simpson, S n.d., 'Free amino acids as phagostimulants in cricket nuptial gifts: support for the 'Candymaker' hypothesis', Biology Letters, 5, 2, pp. 194-196en
dc.identifier.issn1744-9561en
dc.identifier.issn1744-957Xen
dc.identifier.doi10.1098/rsbl.2008.0731en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/592794en
dc.description.abstractNuptial gifts that are manufactured by the male are found in numerous insect species and some spiders, but there have been very few studies of the composition of such gifts. If, as has been proposed recently, nuptial gifts represent sensory traps, males will be selected to produce gifts that are attractive to females but such gifts will not necessarily provide the female with nutritional benefits (the 'Candymaker' hypothesis). We examined the free amino acid content of the spermatophylax of the cricket Gryllodes sigillatus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The spermatophylax (dry weight) consisted of approximately 7 per cent free amino acids. The free amino acid composition was highly imbalanced, with a low proportion of essential amino acids (18.7%) and a high proportion of proline and glycine. The main free amino acids found in the spermatophylax appeared to act as phagostimulants: the duration of feeding on artificial gels by females was positively related to the free amino acid content of the gels. The results therefore suggest that males use free amino acids to 'sweeten' a relatively low-value food item. A possible function of glycine in inhibiting female movement is also proposed.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherThe Royal Societyen
dc.relation.urlhttp://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/cgi/doi/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0731en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Biology Lettersen
dc.subjectNuptial giftsen
dc.subjectSexual conflicten
dc.titleFree amino acids as phagostimulants in cricket nuptial gifts: support for the 'Candymaker' hypothesisen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Oxforden
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Derbyen
dc.identifier.journalBiology Lettersen
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