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Neotrop Entomol. 2015 Apr;44(2):116-22. doi: 10.1007/s13744-014-0266-1. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Body Size, Fecundity, and Sexual Size Dimorphism in the Neotropical Cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae).

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Lab de Ecología, UBIPRO, FES Iztacala, Univ Nacional Autónoma de México, FES Iztacala A. P. 314, México, 54090, Edo. México, México,


Body size is directly or indirectly correlated with fitness. Body size, which conveys maximal fitness, often differs between sexes. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) evolves because body size tends to be related to reproductive success through different pathways in males and females. In general, female insects are larger than males, suggesting that natural selection for high female fecundity could be stronger than sexual selection in males. I assessed the role of body size and fecundity in SSD in the Neotropical cricket Macroanaxipha macilenta (Saussure). This species shows a SSD bias toward males. Females did not present a correlation between number of eggs and body size. Nonetheless, there were fluctuations in the number of eggs carried by females during the sampling period, and the size of females that were collected carrying eggs was larger than that of females collected with no eggs. Since mating induces vitellogenesis in some cricket species, differences in female body size might suggest male mate choice. Sexual selection in the body size of males of M. macilenta may possibly be stronger than the selection of female fecundity. Even so, no mating behavior was observed during the field observations, including audible male calling or courtship songs, yet males may produce ultrasonic calls due to their size. If female body size in M. macilenta is not directly related to fecundity, the lack of a correlated response to selection on female body size could represent an alternate evolutionary pathway in the evolution of body size and SSD in insects.

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