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Mating rate and fitness in female bean weevils Goran Arnqvist,a

Summary: Mating rate and fitness in female bean weevils
Go¨ran Arnqvist,a
Tina Nilsson,b
and Mari Katvalaa,c
Department of Animal Ecology, Evolutionary Biology Center, Uppsala University, Norbyva¨gen 18D,
SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden, b
Animal Ecology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science,
Umea° University, SE-901 87 Umea°, Sweden, and c
Department of Biology, University of Oulu,
P.O. Box 3000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland
Females of most animal taxa mate with several males during their lifespan. Yet our understanding of the ultimate causes of
polyandry is incomplete. For example, it is not clear if and in what sense female mating rates are optimal. Most female insects are
thought to maximize their fitness by mating at an intermediate rate, but it has been suggested that two alternative fitness peaks
may be observed if multiple costs and benefits interact in determining the relationship between mating rate and fitness. We
studied the relationship between female fitness and mating rate in the bean weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus (Coleoptera:
Bruchidae), a species in which several distinct direct effects of mating to females have been reported. Our results show that
female fitness, measured as lifetime offspring production, is lowest at an intermediate mating rate. We suggest that this pattern is
the result of multiple direct benefits to mating (e.g., sperm replenishment and hydration/nutrition effects) in combination with
significant direct costs to mating (e.g., injury from male genitalia). Females mating at low rates may efficiently minimize the costs


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


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology