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Cryptic Female Choice and Male Mating Behaviour: Sexual Interactions in Beetles
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
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. , p. 42
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 43
Keywords [en]
Biology, Cryptic female choice, Copulatory courtship, Harmful male traits, Nuptial gifts, Sperm competition, Sexual selection, Tribolium castaneum, Callosobruchus maculatus
Keywords [sv]
Biologi
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5753ISBN: 91-554-6225-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-5753DiVA, id: diva2:166269
Public defence
2005-05-13, Zootissalen, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala, 15:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Copulatory courtship and cryptic female choice in red flour beetles Tribolium castaneum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Copulatory courtship and cryptic female choice in red flour beetles Tribolium castaneum
2000 In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B-Biological Sciences, Vol. 267, p. 559-563Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92937 (URN)
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20Bibliographically approved
2. The effects of copulatory courtship on differential allocation in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effects of copulatory courtship on differential allocation in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum
2005 (English)In: Journal of insect behavior, ISSN 0892-7553, E-ISSN 1572-8889, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 312-322Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mate attractiveness is known to sometimes influence female reproductive investment (i.e. differential allocation) and the sex ratio of her offspring (i.e. sex allocation). Males of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum rub the lateral edges of the females’ elytra with their tarsi during copulation. This behavior is important for paternity success when females have mated with two males. We manipulated female perception of the leg rubbing behavior by tarsal ablation and tested whether this behavior is also favored through differential allocation and whether it affects sex allocation. We found some support for an increase in female oviposition rate in response to intensive leg rubbing but failed to find any support for an effect on sex allocation. The overall sex ratio of offspring was slightly male biased but females did not appear to regulate the sex ratio of their offspring.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92938 (URN)10.1007/s10905-005-3692-4 (DOI)
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. No apparent indirect genetic benefits to female red flour beetles preferring males with intense copulatory courtship
Open this publication in new window or tab >>No apparent indirect genetic benefits to female red flour beetles preferring males with intense copulatory courtship
2006 (English)In: Behavior Genetics, ISSN 0001-8244, E-ISSN 1573-3297, Vol. 36, no 5, p. 775-782Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Whether females gain indirect genetic benefits through mate choice is a controversial issue since this requires additive genetic variance in the preferred male traits. Condition dependence could maintain the necessary genetic variance by linking the expression of male traits to the supposedly large number of genes affecting condition. Copulating males of the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum rub their legs along the female elytra. Females favor males with vigorous rubbing through cryptic female choice. We measured the repeatability and heritability of this behavior and assessed its potential use as indicator of viability and condition. We found genetic variance in larval to adult survival and in the rate of leg rubbing in males. However, the rate of leg rubbing was not related to offspring survival or condition dependent. The genetic variance in leg rubbing was mostly non-additive with very low narrow sense heritability. Therefore, we failed to document any indirect genetic benefits to choosy females through viability of their offspring or attractiveness of their sons.

Keywords
condition dependence, copulatory courtship, cryptic female choice, heritability, indirect genetic benefits, Tribolium castaneum
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92939 (URN)10.1007/s10519-005-9043-6 (DOI)000239589700014 ()16557363 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Why do male Callosobruchus maculatus harm their mates?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why do male Callosobruchus maculatus harm their mates?
2005 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 788-793Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Males of the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus have spines on their intromittent organs that puncture the female reproductive tract during mating. Females kick their mates during copulation. If females are prevented from kicking the males, copulations last longer and the injuries females sustain are more severe. We tested whether or not these injuries represent real fitness costs that can be mitigated by kicking and also what males gain by inflicting them. Our results show that females do indeed suffer lowered lifetime fecundity if they are prevented from kicking. However, we could find no evidence that males gain benefits through harming their mates. It has been suggested that the way females respond to the harm may benefit the male causing it. Injured females may be less willing to remate to avoid sustaining further injuries, or they may respond by increasing their rate of oviposition if they perceive the injuries as a threat to their survival. In our study, however, females that were prevented from kicking did not respond by delaying remating or increasing their rate of oviposition. Furthermore, preventing females from kicking during their second copulation did not make their second mates more successful in sperm competition. This suggests that the spines have evolved for other reasons than harming the females, such as serving as an anchor during copulation, and that the harm they cause is a side effect of a male adaptation and is not itself adaptive for either sex.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92940 (URN)10.1093/beheco/ari055 (DOI)
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. The effects of copulation duration in the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effects of copulation duration in the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92941 (URN)
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20Bibliographically approved
6. No evidence that female bruchid beetles Callosobruchus maculatus use remating to reduce costs of inbreeding
Open this publication in new window or tab >>No evidence that female bruchid beetles Callosobruchus maculatus use remating to reduce costs of inbreeding
2008 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 75, no Part 4, p. 1519-1524Article 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.

Keywords
bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, inbreeding avoidance, inbreeding depression, mate choice
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92942 (URN)10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.10.005 (DOI)000254258000035 ()
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
7. Female Callosobruchus maculatus mate when they are thirsty: resource-rich ejaculates as mating effort in a beetle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Female Callosobruchus maculatus mate when they are thirsty: resource-rich ejaculates as mating effort in a beetle
2007 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 74, no 2, p. 183-188Article 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.

Keywords
bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculates, ejaculate, hydration benefits, mating effort, nuptial gift, sperm competition
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92943 (URN)10.1016/j.anbehav.2006.07.018 (DOI)000249370000004 ()
Available from: 2005-04-20 Created: 2005-04-20 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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