Ecological Correlates of Paternal Investment of Urates in a Tropical Cockroach

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Science  08 Oct 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4568, pp. 170-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.218.4568.170


Females of the tropical cockroach Xestoblatta hamata feed on urates offered by the male after copulation. Females on nitrogen-deficient diets ingest and transfer to their maturing oocytes more male-derived uric acid than do females on high-protein diets. In isolated females, the greatest uptake of uric acid by the ovaries occurs during the mating stage in the reproductive cycle. Uric acid from males contributes significantly to the female's nitrogen pool and may help shorten the time between mating and oviposition. In both field and laboratory experiments males choose high-protein foods and dietary uric acid.

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