Insect size tactics or developmental strategies are discussed in relation to decisions individuals make about when to mature. Such decisions carry with them costs and benefits in terms of that individual's reproductive success. Whenever size affects fitness, selection should act such that individuals evaluate the costs and benefits due to changes in size and should mature when the ratio of benefit to cost is maximized. Predictions about seasonal changes in adult sizes within a population are tested on two species of mole cricket, Scapteriscus acletus and vicinus. Specifically, individuals maturing in the fall should be larger than average because there is no cost associated with delayed reproduction since reproduction occurs only during spring months. Smaller than average individuals should remain in juvenile stages and get larger before reproducing. Also it is predicted that as the spring reproductive season progresses a greater proportion of smaller individuals should mature because the costs due to delaying reproduction increase. The changes in seasonal distribution of adult sizes of mole crickets support the predictions and suggest that individuals make decisions about when to mature based on costs and benefits associated with changes in size.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics