Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Females prefer lovers not fighters, at least in beetles

Date:
April 29, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
It's official (in the horned beetle world at least), females prefer courtship over competitiveness -- and it doesn't matter about the size of your mandibles either. An international study investigated the complicated sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus, the horned flour-beetle. Female mate choice and male-male competition are the typical mechanisms of sexual selection. However, these two mechanisms do not always favor the same males, research showed.

Lovers over Fighters: The researchers showed that female choice targets male courtship rather than mandible size, and that the two traits are not physically or genetically correlated.
Credit: Dave Hosken

It's official (in the horned beetle world at least), females prefer courtship over competitiveness -- and it doesn't matter about the size of your mandibles either.

Related Articles


An international study by scientists at the University of Exeter and the Universities of Okayama and Tsukuba in Japan investigated the complicated sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus, the horned flour-beetle.

Female mate choice and male-male competition are the typical mechanisms of sexual selection. However, these two mechanisms do not always favor the same males.

Male horned beetles have enlarged lower jaws -- or mandibles -- used to fight rivals, and those with larger mandibles do have a mating advantage when there is direct male-male competition. But until now, it has not been clear whether the females actually prefer these highly competitive males.

After conducting experiments with hundreds of the insects, the researchers show that female choice targets male courtship rather than mandible size, and that the two traits are not physically or genetically correlated.

Professor Dave Hosken, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus, said: "A major finding of this study was that the most attractive males, those most preferred by females, were not the highly competitive males with large mandibles. This is despite the fact these fighter males enjoy significant mating advantages when in direct competition for females. Instead, females prefer to mate with males that court more. This shows that choice and competition favor different traits."

The scientists also investigated whether females benefit from their choice of mate, both in terms of the effects on their own fitness and on the fitness of their sons and daughters.

Mating with more attractive and competitive males was not found to provide direct benefits to females, but it did lead to them producing more attractive and competitive sons.

For daughters, those whose mothers mated with attractive males (lovers) rather than competitive males (fighters) did not suffer from the masculization costs sometimes observed. These occur because when the body shape changes associated with developing large mandibles in males are transmitted to daughters it means a reduction in egg space.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Females prefer lovers not fighters, at least in beetles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429205819.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2014, April 29). Females prefer lovers not fighters, at least in beetles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429205819.htm
University of Exeter. "Females prefer lovers not fighters, at least in beetles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429205819.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Oatmeal Healthy Recipes and Benefits

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Oatmeal is a fantastic way to start your day. Whichever way you prepare them, oats provide your body with many health benefits. In celebration of National Oatmeal Day, Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has a few recipe ideas, and tips on how to kickstart your day with this wholesome snack! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
GoPro Video Gives a Lion's-Eye View of The Hunt

GoPro Video Gives a Lion's-Eye View of The Hunt

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) If you’ve ever wondered what getting takeout looks like for lions in Africa, the GoPro video from Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson will give you a lion’s-eye view of the hunt. Jen Markham has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins