Artificial selection on male longevity influences age-dependent reproductive effort in the black field cricket Teleogryllus commodus

Am Nat. 2006 Sep;168(3):E72-86. doi: 10.1086/506918. Epub 2006 Aug 10.


Although the trade-off between reproductive effort and longevity is central to both sexual selection and evolutionary theories of aging, there has been little synthesis between these fields. Here, we selected directly on adult longevity of male field crickets Teleogryllus commodus and measured the correlated responses of age-dependent male reproductive effort, female lifetime fecundity, and several other life-history traits. Male longevity responded significantly to five generations of divergent selection. Males from downward-selected lines commenced calling sooner and reached their peak calling effort at a younger age. They called more per night and, despite living less than half as long, called more overall than males selected for increased longevity. Females from the downward-selected lines lived significantly shorter lives than females from the upward-selected lines but still produced the same number of offspring. Nymph survival, development time, and body size and weight at eclosion did not show significant correlated response to selection on male longevity, despite evidence for substantial genetic variation in each of these traits. Collectively, our findings directly support the antagonistic pleiotropy model of aging and suggest an important role for sexual selection in the aging process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Gryllidae / genetics*
  • Gryllidae / physiology*
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Longevity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Reproduction / physiology
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Vocalization, Animal