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Female Callosobruchus maculatus mate when they are thirsty: resource-rich ejaculates as mating effort in a beetle
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
2007 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 74, no 2, 183-188 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Because male uncertainty over parentage limits the value of paternal investment in offspring, mate attraction and facilitation of ejaculate transfer are thought to be important functions of nuptial gifts. However, these are unlikely functions for valuable resources in ejaculates delivered inside the female. Instead, ejaculates containing costly nuptial gifts may be maintained because females alter their mating behaviour in response to the trade-off between the costs and benefits of mating. The value of receiving an additional gift should decrease with improved female physiological condition. Providing a female with a substantial gift will therefore make it less profitable for her to remate and reduce the risk of future sperm competition. Females of the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus are harmed by the spiny male genitalia during copulation but also appear to derive material benefits from the large ejaculates. I kept female C. maculatus with access to water and other females without access to water. All females were given the opportunity to mate with a new male every day. Females without access to water mated more frequently than females with access to water. I suggest that female C. maculatus mate more frequently to obtain water when dehydrated and that this may select for ejaculates containing large amounts of water in males. By providing their mates with a large amount of water, males can delay female remating and reduce the risk of future sperm competition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 74, no 2, 183-188 p.
Keyword [en]
bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculates, ejaculate, hydration benefits, mating effort, nuptial gift, sperm competition
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92943DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.07.018ISI: 000249370000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92943DiVA: diva2:166268
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2011-01-24Bibliographically 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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