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The benefits of multiple mating to female seaweed flies, Coelopa frigida (Diptera: Coelpidae)



The benefits of multiple mating to female seaweed flies, Coelopa frigida (Diptera: Coelpidae)



Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58(2): 128-135



Female seaweed flies, Coelopa frigida, have the potential to benefit from mating more than once. Single matings result in low fertility so females may benefit directly from multiple copulations by sperm replenishment. A chromosomal inversion associated with larval fitness, with heterokaryotypic larvae having higher viability than homokaryotypes, means that polyandrous homokaryotypic females have a higher probability of producing genetically fit offspring than monandrous homokaryotypic females. We allowed females to mate only once, repeatedly four times to the same male, or polyandrously four times to four different males. Multiply mated and polyandrous females laid more eggs and produced more offspring than singly mated and monandrous females, respectively. Polyandrous females laid more eggs, had higher egg-to-adult survival rates and produced more offspring than repeatedly mated females. Fertility rates did not differ between treatments. The observed fitness patterns therefore resulted from increased oviposition through multiple mating per se, and a further increase in oviposition coupled with higher egg-to-adult offspring survival benefits to polyandry. Daily monitoring of individual females over their entire life spans showed that multiple copulations induced early oviposition, with polyandrous females ovipositing earlier than repeatedly mated females. Singly mated and polyandrous females incurred a longevity cost independent of egg production, whereas repeatedly mated females did not. This suggests that repeatedly mating with the same male may counteract a general cost of mating. Longevity, however, was not correlated with overall female fitness. Our data are discussed in the overall context of the seaweed fly mating system.

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Accession: 004345811

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1007/s00265-005-0922-x



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