Costly sexual harassment in a beetle

Laurene, Gay and Eady, Paul and Vasudev, Ram and Hosken, David J. and Tregenza, Tom (2009) Costly sexual harassment in a beetle. Physiological Entomology, 34 (1). pp. 86-92. ISSN 0307-6962

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Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-...

Abstract

The optimal number of mating partners for females rarely coincides with
that for males, leading to sexual conflict over mating frequency. In the bruchid beetle
Callosobruchus maculatus , the fitness consequences to females of engaging in
multiple copulations are complex, with studies demonstrating both costs and benefits
to multiple mating. However, females kept continuously with males have a lower
lifetime egg production compared with females mated only once and then isolated
from males. This reduction in fitness may be a result of damage caused by male
genitalia, which bear spines that puncture the female‘s reproductive tract, and/or
toxic elements in the ejaculate. However, male harassment rather than costs of
matings themselves could also explain the results. In the present study, the fitness
costs of male harassment for female C. maculatus are estimated. The natural refractory
period of females immediately after their first mating is used to separate the cost of
harassment from the cost of mating. Male harassment results in females laying fewer
eggs and this results in a tendency to produce fewer offspring. The results are
discussed in the context of mate choice and sexual selection.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The optimal number of mating partners for females rarely coincides with that for males, leading to sexual conflict over mating frequency. In the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus , the fitness consequences to females of engaging in multiple copulations are complex, with studies demonstrating both costs and benefits to multiple mating. However, females kept continuously with males have a lower lifetime egg production compared with females mated only once and then isolated from males. This reduction in fitness may be a result of damage caused by male genitalia, which bear spines that puncture the female‘s reproductive tract, and/or toxic elements in the ejaculate. However, male harassment rather than costs of matings themselves could also explain the results. In the present study, the fitness costs of male harassment for female C. maculatus are estimated. The natural refractory period of females immediately after their first mating is used to separate the cost of harassment from the cost of mating. Male harassment results in females laying fewer eggs and this results in a tendency to produce fewer offspring. The results are discussed in the context of mate choice and sexual selection.
Keywords:Callosobruchus maculatus, Coleoptera, harassment, mating frequency, polyandry
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C142 Reproductive Biology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:4313
Deposited By: Sarah Lunt
Deposited On:26 Mar 2011 23:02
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:58

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