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ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2000, 59, 695703 doi:10.1006/anbe.1999.1372, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on

Summary: ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 2000, 59, 695­703
doi:10.1006/anbe.1999.1372, available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on
Copulation duration and fertilization success in a damselfly:
an example of cryptic female choice?
Departamento de Ecoloxi´a e Bioloxi´a Animal, Universidade de Vigo
(Received 17 May 1999; initial acceptance 22 June 1999;
final acceptance 20 November 1999; MS. number: 6227R)
Copulation duration is highly variable (0.5­3 h) in the damselfly, Ceriagrion tenellum (Coenagrionidae).
Using laboratory experiments, we tested four adaptive hypotheses to explain this variation: the effect of
time constraints, in-copula mate guarding, sperm displacement and cryptic female choice. Copulation
duration was negatively correlated with time of day, as predicted by the first two hypotheses, and
positively correlated with male density, as predicted by the mate-guarding hypothesis. Males prolonged
copulation in response to the volume of sperm stored by females, suggesting they were able to detect and
quantify the amount of sperm stored. This behaviour is not explained by mate guarding or time
constraint effects. Males removed all the sperm from the bursa copulatrix in just 10 min. Our results also
suggest that, because the duct is too narrow to allow male genitalia to enter, males do not remove
spermathecal sperm. Therefore, direct sperm removal could not explain long copulations. Prolonged
copulations could also have evolved as a result of cryptic female choice if they increase male fertilization
success by female-mediated processes. Our results support this idea: male fertilization success was greater


Source: Andrés, José - Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan


Collections: Biology and Medicine