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No Apparent Indirect Genetic Benefits to Female Red Flour Beetles Preferring Males with Intense Copulatory Courtship
 

Summary: No Apparent Indirect Genetic Benefits to Female Red Flour
Beetles Preferring Males with Intense Copulatory Courtship
Martin Edvardsson1,2
and Go¨ ran Arnqvist1
Received 20 Apr. 2005--Final 27 Dec. 2005
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.
KEY WORDS: Condition dependence; copulatory courtship; cryptic female choice; heritability; indirect
genetic benefits; Tribolium castaneum.
INTRODUCTION

  

Source: Arnqvist, Göran - Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala Universitet
Jennions, Michael - School of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology