Section 26
Chapter 25,430

Seasonal variation in genital and body size, sperm displacement ability, female mating rate, and male harassment in two calopterygid damselflies Odonata Calopterygidae

Cordoba-Aguilar, A. {a}; 1 ; 1 Email: [email protected]

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96.4


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-4066
DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2008.01164.x
Accession: 025429304

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Sperm competition is a pervasive force. One adaptation is the male ability to displace the rivals' sperm that females have stored from previous copulations. In the damselfly, Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis asturica, males with wider aedeagi displace more spermathecal sperm. The present study documents that the same mechanism operates in another damselfly, Hetaerina americana. However, this genital width in both species decreases along the season, but late-emerging females have more sperm displaced than early-emerging females. Because territorial males mated more and were larger in body and genital size than nonterritorial males, late-season females mated with considerably larger males with respect to female size and this produced higher sperm displacement. Assuming female benefits from storing sperm but that such benefit does not prevail if males displace sperm, it is predicted that, along the season, females will mate less and male harassment (in terms of male mating attempts and oviposition duration) will increase. These predictions were corroborated. In H. americana, it was also tested whether spermathecal sperm became less viable along the season. The results obtained did not corroborate this. This is the first evidence indicating that season affects sperm displacement ability and female mating frequency due to changes in male body and genital size. (C) 2009 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2009, 96, 815-829.

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