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Coevolution between harmful male genitalia and female resistance in seed beetles

Summary: Coevolution between harmful male genitalia
and female resistance in seed beetles
Johanna Ro¨ nn, Mari Katvala, and Go¨ ran Arnqvist*
Evolutionary Biology Centre, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Animal Ecology, University of Uppsala, Norbyva¨gen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
Edited by Francisco J. Ayala, University of California, Irvine, CA, and approved May 14, 2007 (received for review February 8, 2007)
Reproductive conflict between the sexes is thought to be a key
force in the evolution of many reproductive characters, but per-
suasive evidence for its significance is still scarce. The spectacular
evolution of male genitalia that impose physical injury on females
during mating has often been suggested to be a product of
sexually antagonistic coevolution, but our understanding of these
extraordinary adaptations is very limited, and there are no direct
data addressing their evolutionary elaboration. We show that
more spiny male genitalia causes more harm to females during
copulation and provide comparative evidence for the correlated
evolution between these antagonistic adaptations in males and a
female counteradaptation (the amount of connective tissue in the
copulatory duct) in a group of insects. By combining comparative
and experimental methods, we demonstrate that imbalance of
relative armament of the sexes affects evolution of the economics


Source: Arnqvist, Göran - Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala Universitet


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology