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Behavioral Ecology Vol. 12 No. 6: 659665 Conflict of interest between sexes over

Summary: Behavioral Ecology Vol. 12 No. 6: 659­665
Conflict of interest between sexes over
cooperation: a supergame on egg carrying
and mating in a coreid bug
Roger Ha¨rdlinga and Arja Kaitalab
aDepartment of Theoretical Ecology, Ecology Building, University of Lund, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden,
and bDepartment of Biology, University of Oulu, Box 3000, Fin-90 014 Oulu, Finland
In the golden egg bug (Phyllomorpha laciniata Vill. Heteroptera: Coreidae) females lay eggs on the backs of conspecifics, often
on courting males. Although the bugs do not provide care to the eggs, this decreases the risk of egg predation. As an effect
males carry many eggs which are not their own. The male and female interests are in conflict; females need to find an oviposition
site, and male fitness depends on the obtained number of matings. By using a very rare modeling approach, a supergame where
the individuals actions change payoffs over time, we show that combinations of reciprocating strategies where males obtain a
mating in return for a carried egg can be stable. The value of the mating, to males, is more important than the relatedness to
the eggs in gaining their cooperation in carrying eggs. Females may also take advantage of the males without reciprocating.
This is especially likely if the probability of future meeting is high and the value of a mating is high for the male. We relate
our results to our own data from empirical studies and experiments on the species. In the light of the results we discuss the
behavior of the bugs in relation to nuptial gifts. We also discuss the general applicability of the supergame approach. Key words:
cooperation, egg-laying, mating, Phyllomorpha, sexual conflict, supergame. [Behav Ecol 12:659­665 (2001)]
Individuals are not expected to help unrelated conspecifics
if the costs of helping are larger than the benefits. If the


Source: Agrell, Jep - Department of Ecology, Lunds Universitet


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology