Male bushcrickets transfer a spermatophore at mating that consists of a sperm–containing ampulla and a sperm–free mass, the spermatophylax, that is consumed by the female during insemination. The costs of spermatophore production for males and benefits of consumption for females result in reversals in courtship roles in nutrient limited populations that increase both the risk and intensity of sperm competition. Here we show that under conditions characteristic of courtship role reversal, male expenditure on the spermatophore is dependent on female size. When mating with small females, males increase the amount of spermatophylax material and sperm, as expected from the increased sperm competition risk associated with courtship role reversal. However, males reduce the amount of spermatophylax material and sperm transferred to larger females. Since larger females have a higher mating success when competing for nurturant males, the intensity of sperm competition covaries with female size. Reduced ejaculate expenditure under increased sperm competition intensity is in accord with theoretical expectation.