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Study shows starving mantis females attract more males

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Posted December 18, 2014

A study done by Katherine Barry an evolutionary biologist with Macquarie University in Australia has led to the discovery that a certain species of female mantis attracts more males when starving, then do those who are well fed. In her paper published inProceedings of the Royal Society B, she describes experiments she carried out that contradicted conventional thinking.

Pseudomantis albofimbriata

Pseudomantis albofimbriata. Credit: Donald Hobern/Wikipedia

Scientists have known for quite some time that female false garden mantises attract males using pheromones—they’ve also known that the females quite often eat the male before it has a chance to mate with her. Up until now, however, it has been assumed that the better fed females, which produce more eggs, attract more males. This new study suggests such thinking has been in error.

Barry had a hunch that the hungriest of the females likely produced more pheromones than did others, because they had more at stake. Attracting more males meant attracting more meals, thereby solving the hunger problem.

Read more at: Phys.org

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