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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Male post-copulatory reproductive success in the beetle, Diaprepes abbreviatus

Authors
item Sirot, Laura - CORNELL UNIVERSITY
item Brockmann, H - UNIV. OF FLORIDA
item Lapointe, Stephen

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 4, 2006
Publication Date: June 20, 2007
Citation: Sirot, L.K., Brockmann, H.J., Lapointe, S.L. 2007. Male post-copulatory reproductive success in the beetle, Diaprepes abbreviatus. Journal of Animal Behavior 74:143-152.

Interpretive Summary: The mating behavior of a major pest of citrus, the Diaprepes root weevil, was studied in the hopes that knowledge of aspects of the basic biology of this insect will yield information useful in combating it. The study attempted to determine the processes that affect reproductive success of male weevils by studying the relationship between male and female behavior during mating and the number of eggs laid by a female, the proportion of eggs fertilized by an individual male and the total number of eggs fertilized by a male. To differentiate males, we used the sterile-male technique, allowing each female to mate with an irradiated (sterile) and a normal male. The second male fertilized more eggs laid by his mate than the first male to mate. Mating duration and the relative rate at which males stroked females were positively related to the proportion of eggs he fertilized. The rate at which females shook during mating was negatively related to the total number of eggs fertilized by her mate. These findings suggest that both male and female behavioral traits influence male reproductive success after mating has begun.

Technical Abstract: A major goal in the study of sexual selection is to understand how intraspecific variation in access to reproduction influences evolution of phenotypic traits. Traditionally, sexual selection studies focused on variation in mating opportunities. It is now clear that variation in reproductive success can also occur after mating has begun through differences in sperm use, oviposition, and female re-mating patterns. We investigated sexual selection after mating had begun in the Diaprepes root weevil. We examined the relationship between behavioral and morphological traits and three measures of a male's success: (i) the number of eggs a female laid after mating, (ii) the proportion of eggs he fertilized, and (iii) the total number of eggs he fertilized. We used the sterile-male technique, allowing each female to mate with an irradiated and a normal male. The second male fertilized a greater proportion of eggs laid by his mate than the first male to mate. Mating duration and relative rate at which males stroked females were positively related to the proportion of eggs fertilized. The rate at which females shook during mating was negatively related to the total number of eggs fertilized by her mate. These findings suggest that both male and female behavioral traits influence male reproductive success after mating has begun. Since variation in male stroking rate and mating duration were associated with variation in male fertilization success, these traits may have evolved through sexual selection.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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