Jay McCartney

Doctor of Philosophy, (Ecology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Spermatophore size variation in the bush-cricket genus poecilimon

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr McCartney’s research compared 36 European bush-cricket taxa to investigate whether males that invest more in mating effort gain more control over reproduction and have higher paternal fitness than species that invest less.  Investments, such as the amount of energy males allocate toward mate attraction and searching as well as that allocated to providing large nuptial meals for the female to consume during mating, were compared to the quality and quantity of offspring produced.  Mr McCartney found that the males of greater-investing species not only produce more offspring of a better quality per mating, but have increased paternal assurance over males of species that invest less.  These results show that the size of a male’s nuptial investment has a major influence on the quality and quantity of the male’s offspring, and highlights the evolutionary significance of sex-specific reproductive investments that are fundamental to shaping animal mating systems.

Professor Murray Potter
Professor Alastair Robertson
Professor Darryl Gwynne
Dr Klaus-Gerhard Heller