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The scientists then reared the crickets in isolation to make sure they were virgins.

The researchers measured sperm counts per copulation, then compared final sperm counts in both the test subject crickets and in females caught in the wild that mated in natural conditions.

Instead of investing all their sperm in one event, the male crickets transferred very small amounts of sperm many times.

Sperm counts from a single copulation measured at 5 to 225, far below the tens of thousands of sperm that crickets of other species usually transferred in a single copulation.

The scientists next measured the amount of sperm that females stored after mating and found that counts were high, between 10,223 to 23,804 sperm.

Gwynne said that females mated with other males and some of the stored sperm eventually does fertilise their eggs, despite their seemingly counterproductive eating habits.

A type of Australian cricket has broken the world record for the most frequent sex, a new study shows.

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