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No evidence that female bruchid beetles Callosobruchus maculatus use remating to reduce costs of inbreeding
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
2008 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, Vol. 75, no Part 4, 1519-1524 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the often dramatic negative effects of inbreeding on offspring fitness, matings between closely related individuals sometimes occur. This may be because females cannot reliably recognize related males before mating with them. As an alternative to precopulatory choice, polyandrous females may avoid inbreeding through postcopulatory mechanisms if they can assess mate relatedness during or after copulation. These mechanisms include increasing remating propensity and decreasing rate of offspring production in response to incestuous matings. Stored product pests, such as the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus, have an ecology that is likely to expose them to frequent risks of inbreeding when a small number of females found a new population on a previously uninfested store of beans. Using this species, we show that inbreeding has negative effects on offspring viability but that females do not appear to discriminate between brothers and unrelated males prior to mating. Furthermore, females that first mated with brothers did not increase their remating propensity or decrease their rate of offspring production relative to females that first mated with unrelated males. Our findings suggest that the costs of inbreeding have not been sufficient to drive the evolution of mating behaviour as a mechanism of inbreeding avoidance in C. maculatus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 75, no Part 4, 1519-1524 p.
Keyword [en]
bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, inbreeding avoidance, inbreeding depression, mate choice
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92942DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.10.005ISI: 000254258000035OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92942DiVA: diva2:166267
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2009-11-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cryptic Female Choice and Male Mating Behaviour: Sexual Interactions in Beetles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cryptic Female Choice and Male Mating Behaviour: Sexual Interactions in Beetles
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The importance of cryptic female choice, i.e. female post-copulatory influence over male reproductive success, in driving the evolution of male traits remains controversial. The main aim of this thesis was to understand the post-copulatory consequences of sexual interactions and the importance of cryptic female choice in two species of beetle.

Males of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum use their legs to rub the lateral edges of the female elytra during mating. When manipulating female perception of this behaviour, I found that females preferentially use the sperm of males with vigorous leg rubbing when they mate with more than one male. Leg rubbing also appeared to increase female rate of oviposition. Females do not seem to gain any indirect benefits by preferring males with an intense leg rubbing behaviour since this behaviour was found to have very low narrow sense heritability and did not appear to be condition dependent in its expression.

Males of the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus have spiny genitalia that harm their mates. Females kick males during copulation and when prevented from kicking, suffered reduced lifetime offspring production as a consequence of more extensive injuries. Males were not able to delay female remating, increase rate of oviposition or increase sperm precedence by inflicting relatively severe injuries to non-kicking females. Hence, the injuries appear to be side effects of male efforts to remain in copula. When copulation duration was manipulated, ejaculate size and female lifetime offspring production increased with the length of copulation. Females reduced their mating rate when they had access to water, suggesting that they obtain water from the large ejaculates and trade-off their need for additional water against the costs of mating. Males may then reduce the benefits of remating by providing their mates with a large amount of water. Females did not increase their remating propensity to avoid inbreeding when they had mated to brothers. Together, these studies reveal the complexity of sexual interactions and the importance of post-copulatory processes for the fitness of both males and females.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 42 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 43
Biology, Cryptic female choice, Copulatory courtship, Harmful male traits, Nuptial gifts, Sperm competition, Sexual selection, Tribolium castaneum, Callosobruchus maculatus, Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5753 (URN)91-554-6225-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-05-13, Zootissalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala, 15:00
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20Bibliographically approved

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