Praying Mantis Males Risk More if They're Denied Mating Access

Male praying mantis that had not had recent access to females are more likely to engage in risky mating behaviour than those who who had daily female encounters.

This is according to research led by William Brown of State University of New York at Fredonia, who found that the deprived males change this risk by altering their approach rate and courtship behavior depending on how recently they have had access to females. They would approached females more rapidly and to closer proximity than the other males did.

"Male cannibalism by females in praying mantids represents an extreme example of sexual conflict in which males risk the complete loss of future reproduction. Our results suggest that males have evolved to alter their acceptable risk of attack depending on mate availability", says Dr. Brown.

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