Sexual selection in Nauphoeta cinerea: Inherited mating preference?

Allen J. Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In the cockroach, Nauphoeta cinerea, female preferences with respect to sexual selection can be easily examined. Mating is nonrandom due to female preferences based on olfactory differences among males. This mate choice results in a mating advantage for socially dominant males. In this paper, results of experiments designed to explore the relationship between female choice in daughters and the preferred male character are described. Using females with male parents of known status and an olfactometer to determine preferences, it is shown that the type of male preferred depends on the status of the female's father. Because social experiences of females were experimentally controlled, these preliminary results suggest that (1) variation in female preferences may have a genetic basis and (2) because of assortative mating, mate choice may be genetically linked to the preferred male character, as predicted by mathematical models of the sexual selection process. N. cinerea appears to be an ideal species for testing predictions and assumptions of models of sexual selection. © 1989 Plenum Publishing Corporation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)717-724
    Number of pages7
    JournalBehavior Genetics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 1989


    • assortative preferences
    • mate choice
    • Nauphoeta cinerea
    • pheromones
    • sexual selection
    • social dominance


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