3 years ago

Individual- and ejaculate-specific sperm traits in ant males

Individual- and ejaculate-specific sperm traits in ant males
Sperm cells are the most morphologically diverse cells across animal taxa. Within species, sperm and ejaculate traits have been suggested to vary with the male’s competitive environment, e.g., level of sperm competition, female mating status and quality, and also with male age, body mass, physiological condition, and resource availability. Most previous studies have based their conclusions on the analysis of only one or a few ejaculates per male without investigating differences among the ejaculates of the same individual. This masks potential ejaculate-specific traits. Here, we provide data on the length, quantity, and viability of sperm ejaculated by wingless males of the ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. Males of this ant species are relatively long-lived and can mate with large numbers of female sexuals throughout their lives. We analyzed all ejaculates across the individuals’ lifespan and manipulated the availability of mating partners. Our study shows that both the number and size of sperm cells transferred during copulations differ among individuals and also among ejaculates of the same male. Sperm quality does not decrease with male age, but the variation in sperm number between ejaculates indicates that males need considerable time to replenish their sperm supplies. Producing many ejaculates in a short time appears to be traded-off against male longevity rather than sperm quality.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022191017302986

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.