Mating success of resident versus non-resident males in a territorial butterfly

Bergman, Martin, Gotthard, Karl, Berger, David, Olofsson, Martin, Kemp, Darrell J., and Wiklund, Christer (2007) Mating success of resident versus non-resident males in a territorial butterfly. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological Sciences, 274 (1618). pp. 1659-1665.

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Abstract

Male–male competition over territorial ownership suggests that winning is associated with considerable benefits. In the speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria, males fight over sunspot territories on the forest floor; winners gain sole residency of a sunspot, whereas losers patrol the forest in search of females. It is currently not known whether residents experience greater mating success than non-residents, or whether mating success is contingent on environmental conditions. Here we performed an experiment in which virgin females of P. aegeria were allowed to choose between a resident and a non-resident male in a large enclosure containing one territorial sunspot. Resident males achieved approximately twice as many matings as non-residents, primarily because matings were most often preceded by a female being discovered when flying through a sunspot. There was no evidence that territorial residents were more attractive per se, with females seen to reject them as often as non-residents. Furthermore, in the cases where females were discovered outside of the sunspot, they were just as likely to mate with non-residents as residents. We hypothesize that the proximate advantage of territory ownership is that light conditions in a large sunspot greatly increase the male's ability to detect and intercept passing receptive females.

Item ID: 2807
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: territorial butterfly; non resident males; resident males; Lepidoptera; contest success; mate locating behaviour; female choice; mate choice; butterfly vision
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This article has been made available under a CC-BY 4.0 licence

ISSN: 1471-2954
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2009 01:55
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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