Unexpected male choosin M C Bel Venner1 S Dray2 D A

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Niveau: Supérieur, Doctorat, Bac+8
Unexpected male choosin M. C. Bel-Venner1,2,*, S. Dray2, D. A Poi ve ( vem sine be g. M s in ns. site te t Ma en r, m all tin re intr choosy sex (Trivers 1972; Parker 1983; Clutton-Brock & receive species of rea Emlen female 1981). sex co OSR ( sex-rol lating ( 1993; Bondu 2005). that m and wh these predictions. This may be due to two major reasons: lation 2003; ) male served ontest l and/ 1989; under pider, ect to th of occurs Adult sively more theless, mate guarding is both time consuming (Komdeur 2001; Bel-Venner & Venner 2006; Segoli et al. 2006) and Proc. R. Soc. B (2008) 275, 77–82 Electronic supplementary material is available at 1098/rspb.2007.1278 or via (Parker 1983; Johnstone et al. 1996; Kvarnemo & Simmons 1998; Wong & Jennions 2003). Male choosiness should be weak when competition for mates is intense due to very few mating opportunities (Lawrence 1986; than one male per female at a time (Bel-Venner & Venner 2006). Male takeovers may occur before the female's adult moult.

  • operational sex

  • males

  • mating preferences

  • competition

  • mate choice

  • male choosiness

  • between males

  • female size

  • females


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Proc. R. Soc. B(2008)275, 77–82 doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.1278 Published online24 October 2007
Unexpected male choosiness for mates in a spider 1,2, 22 22 * M. C. BelVenner, S. Dray, D. Allaine´, F. Menuand S. Venner 1 Expression et Evolution des Comportements, Universite´ Henri Poincare´ Nancy, BP 239, 54506 VandoeuvrelesNancy, France 2 LaboratoiredeBiom´etrieetBiologieEvolutive(UMR5558),CNRS,Universit´edeLyon, Universite´Lyon1,43boulevarddu11novembre,69622VilleurbanneCedex,France Sexual selection theory traditionally considers choosiness for mates to be negatively related to intrasexual competition. Males were classically considered to be the competing, but not the choosy, sex. However, evidence of male choosiness is now accumulating. Male choosiness is expected to increase with an individual’s competitive ability, and to decrease as intrasexual competition increases. However, such predictions have never been tested in field conditions. Here, we explore male mate choice in a spider by studying sizeassortative pairing in two natural sites that strongly differ in the level of male–male competition. Unexpectedly, our results demonstrate that mate choice shifts from opportunism to high selectivity as competition between males increases. Males experiencing weak competition did not exhibit sizerelated mating preferences. By contrast, when competition was intense we found strong size assortative pairing due to male choice: while larger, more competitive males preferentially paired with larger, more fecund females, smaller males chose smaller females. Thus, we show that mating preferences of males vary with their competitive ability. The distinct preferences exhibited by males of different sizes seem to be an adaptive response to the lower reproductive opportunities arising from increased competition between males. Keywords:sexual selection; male mate choice; intrasexual competition; assortative mating; spider
1. INTRODUCTIONCrowleyet al. 1991;Berglund 1994;Kokko & Johnstone Mate choice and intrasexual competition are the two2002). Furthermore, good competitors are expected to be components of sexual selection (Darwin 1871choosier than poor ones that should instead mate). Males often have a higher potential reproductive rate thanopportunistically (Burley 1977;Ptacek & Travis 1997; females, and are thus considered to be the sex competingAmundsen & Forsgren 2003;Fawcett & Johnstone 2003; for access to mates, while females are assumed to be theShineet al. 2003). However, no field study has ever tested choosy sex (Trivers 1972;Parker 1983;CluttonBrock &these predictions. This may be due to two major reasons: Vincent 1991;Andersson 1994(i) it is often difficult to accurately measure the). This basic statement received further support from rare reversed sexrolecompetition level among males within a population species where the operational sex ratio (OSR, the ratio(Kokko & Monaghan 2001;Shuster & Wade 2003; of readytomate males to readytomate females;Forsgrenet al. 2004;Nymanet al. 2006) and (ii) male Emlen & Oring 1977) is female biased. In this context,mate choice usually cannot be inferred from observed females compete for access to choosy males (Gwynnemating patterns that may also be caused by contest 1981competition between males, female choice or spatial and/). The degree of choosiness for mates, and of within sex competition, can be tightly linked with changes inor temporal heterogeneity of mate quality (Crespi 1989; OSR (Forsgrenet al. 2004). However, in conventionalRowe & Arnqvist 1996). In this study, we explored male mate choice under sexrole species, evidence of male choosiness is accumu natural conditions in an annual orbweaving spider, lating (Parker 1983;Schwagmeyer & Parker 1990;Olsson Zygiella xnotata(Araneae: Araneidae), with respect to 1993;Cunningham & Birkhead 1998;Amundsen 2000; the males’ competitive ability and the strength of Bonduriansky 2001;Dunnet al. 2001;Prestonet al. competition between them. In this species, mating occurs 2005). Both theoretical and empirical evidence suggested in summer when reproductive males are present. Adult that males should be most choosy when mating is costly males perform precopulatory mate guarding exclusively and when the quality of individual females varies greatly of immature females near their adult moult, with no more (Parker 1983;Johnstoneet al. 1996;Kvarnemo & than one male per female at a time (BelVenner & Venner Simmons 1998;Wong & Jennions 2003). Male choosiness 2006). Male takeovers may occur before the female’s adult should be weak when competition for mates is intense due moult. Whenever a female is moulting, only the male to very few mating opportunities (Lawrence 1986; guarding her can be the first to court her and mate at once (BelVenner & Venner 2006). Males may obtain great *fsroocrrdndardseAuthoraiert´emoiBederiotaorab:Lceenndpoes fitness rewards from copulating with their recently et Biologie Evolutive (UMR 5558); CNRS; Universite´ Lyon 1, 43 moulted virgin mates owing to the first male sperm boulevard 11 novembre, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France (marie claude.bel@scbiol.uhpnancy.fr).priority pattern in this species (Austad 1984). Never theless, mate guarding is both time consuming (Komdeur Electronic supplementary material is available athttp://dx.doi.org/10. 1098/rspb.2007.1278or viahttp://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk.2001;BelVenner & Venner 2006;Segoliet al. 2006) and Received17 September 200777This journal isq2007 The Royal Society Accepted5 October 2007