Impending death alters crickets’ standards for mates

With a short time to live, parasite-infested females lose their preference for fast-chirping males

By Meghan Rosen, 14:34 PM March 26, 2013

With parasitic flies gorging on her guts and the end approaching, a variable field cricket may have only one thing to do: Find a mate.

Usually, female Gryllus lineaticeps prefer males with fast chirps. But when being eaten alive by fly larvae, female crickets don’t wait around for a snappy tune. Instead, they settle for slow-chirping sexual partners, evolutionary biologists Oliver Beckers of Indiana University in Bloomington and William Wagner Jr. of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln repo...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/impending-death-alters-crickets’-standards-mates?mode=magazine&context=4551