• ageing;
  • crickets;
  • diet quality;
  • experimental evolution;
  • longevity;
  • mating costs;
  • nuptial gifts


Theory predicts that lifespan will depend on the dietary intake of an individual, the allocation of resources towards reproduction and the costs imposed by the opposite sex. Although females typically bear the majority of the cost of offspring production, nuptial feeding invertebrates provide an ideal opportunity to examine the extent to which reproductive interactions through gift provisioning impose a cost on males. Here we use experimental evolution in an Australian ground cricket to assess how diet influences male lifespan and how the costs of mating evolve for males. Our findings show that males had significantly shorter lifespans in populations that adapted to a low-quality diet and that this divergence is driven by evolutionary change in how females interact with males over reproduction. This suggests that the extent of sexual conflict over nuptial feeding may be under-realized by focusing solely on the consequences of reproductive interactions from the female’s perspective.