Size-assortative pairing across three developmental stages in the Zeus bug, Phoreticovelia disparata
2012 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 66, no 7, 995-1003 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The mechanisms underlying size-assortative pairing have received considerable attention. Typically, pairing is assumed to occur at, or just prior to, the adult phase of the life cycle. However, in many invertebrates, males commence associations with juvenile females who are more than a single moult away from sexual maturity. These species are ideal to explore the importance of reproductive and survival benefits as mechanisms driving size-assortative pairing. In the Zeus bug, Phoreticovelia disparata, adult males are found riding on juvenile (fourth and fifth instar) and adult females-a behaviour that is costly for females but has survival benefits for males. Using a combination of field collections and laboratory manipulations, we show that pairing is size-assortative both within and between female age classes and that riding males are smaller than non-riding males. In a series of mating trials, we revealed that males attempt to ride any female but that their riding success is dependent on female age. We also provide the first direct evidence of female resistance to male riding attempts in P. disparata. We propose that size-assortative pairing arises through adaptations that have evolved to minimise the potential costs of sexual conflict. We suggest that the selective pressure on males to maximise survival benefits is sufficiently high that it outweighs the reproductive benefits of discriminating against fourth instar females. Finally, given that female resistance is under direct selection in juvenile females, it is likely to be the main form of selective pressure for adult females.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 66, no 7, 995-1003 p.
Size-assortative pairing, Developmental stages, Zeus bug, Phoreticovelia disparata, Juveniles
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-178537DOI: 10.1007/s00265-012-1347-yISI: 000305212900001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-178537DiVA: diva2:542433