The Spring and Fall Field Crickets (Gryllus veletis and G. pennsylvanicus, respectively) are both native to Michigan. G. veletis mature 9 months after hatching: they hatch in summer, overwinter in burrows, and mature the following spring. G. pennsylvanicus overwinter as eggs, hatch in late spring, and mature 3 months later, producing eggs before dying in early fall. For each species, I will use pitfall traps and opportunistic hand-catching to capture mature crickets from three sites, measure a proxy of parent quality (body size), and form mating pairs. I will gather and count eggs from each pair, half of which I will incubate until hatching in a lab environment; the other half will be assayed for ESH content using an Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA).
I will then raise offspring in a common garden (to control for environmental variation effects on phenotype) and measure offspring development rate and quality at maturity. These data will demonstrate whether ESH variation affects development and phenotype in wild crickets (H1:P1). Data will begin to address whether ESH provisioning could be an adaptive reproductive strategy by testing whether parent quality and environment influence the amount of ESH provided to offspring (H2:P2, P3).