Although recent studies have demonstrated that female crickets prefer novel males to previous mates, the relative contribution of pre- and postcopulatory behaviors to this advantage remain unknown, as do the reproductive consequences to males. I paired females either with previous or novel mates, and recorded the latency to mating and the time after mating at which the female removed the male's spermatophore, terminating sperm transfer. Females that mated with familiar males removed their spermatophores sooner than females that mated with novel males. Females paired with novel males also mated more quickly than females paired with familiar males, but this difference was not statistically significant. A molecular-based paternity analysis was used to determine whether the postcopulatory preference of females for novel males influences a male's fertilization success. Females were assigned to either mate three times with the same male and then once with a novel male, or four times with four different males. The paternity of the last male was higher when the female previously had mated repeatedly with the same male than when she had mated previously with different males. These results suggest that female spermatophore removal behavior influences male paternity such that novel males receive a fertility benefit.
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Vol. 63 • No. 1