One of the proposed functions of nuptial gifts is to protect males from female aggressive behavior during courtship and copulation. However, there is no direct evidence supporting this hypothesis at present. We tested this particular hypothesis in the bell cricket, Meloimorpha japonica (De Haan) (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). One group of males offered no gift to the females (no nuptial gift group), whereas a nuptial gift was offered by the males in the other group (control group); the mating behavior of both groups was observed. Aggressive interactions between males and females were observed more frequently in pairs where no gift was given. The fecundity and longevity of females were not affected by the nuptial gifts. The results show that in the bell crickets, presenting nuptial gifts protects males from female aggressive behavior but does not directly benefit female reproductive performance.
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