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The costs of mating and egg production in Callosobruchus seed beetles

Summary: The costs of mating and egg production in
Callosobruchus seed beetles
Evolutionary Biology Centre, Department of Animal Ecology, Uppsala University
(Received 1 July 2005; initial acceptance 10 August 2005;
final acceptance 14 October 2005; published online 10 July 2006; MS. number: 8599R)
The net cost of reproduction and the trade-off between reproduction and life span are affected by many
male and female adaptations. Because several of these adaptations are sexually selected, we expect the
cost of reproduction to be affected by sexual selection. For example, traits favoured in males by sexual se-
lection may increase costs of mating for females. We conducted a series of experiments where we indepen-
dently varied female exposure to males and access to oviposition substrates in six congeneric seed beetle
species (Callosobruchus spp.). These experiments allowed us to partition the cost of reproduction for fe-
males into the cost of mating and the cost of egg production. The costs and benefits of a single mating
in terms of effects on female life span varied markedly between species. In some species, females lived
for longer after mating once but others had a shortened life span. Lifelong cohabitation with males re-
sulted in a shortened life span for females of all species, but the extent to which cohabitation reduced fe-
male life span varied between species. We also found partial support for a depressed lifetime egg
production as a result of cohabitation with males. Collectively, our results show that the costs and benefits
of mating vary markedly within this clade of closely related and ecologically uniform species. We conclude
that key traits, which influence the economics of sexual interactions and reproduction, have evolved rap-


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


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology