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Mating success of resident versus non-resident males in a territorial butterfly
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4560-6271
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7303-5632
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2007 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 274, no 1618, 1659-1665 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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 nonresidents, 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 nonresident 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 nonresidents. 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 274, no 1618, 1659-1665 p.
Keyword [en]
Lepidoptera; contest success; mate locating behaviour; female choice; mate choice; butterfly vision
National Category
Ecology Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20780DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0311ISI: 000247315400014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-20780DiVA: diva2:187306
Available from: 2007-11-30 Created: 2007-11-30 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The evolution of territoriality in butterflies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The evolution of territoriality in butterflies
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Competition over mating opportunities is a conspicuous characteristic of animal behaviour. In many butterfly species the males establish territories in places advantageous for encountering females. This thesis addresses questions about how territoriality has evolved and is maintained in butterflies. The studies have been conducted using the speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria, as a model species. Males of P. aegeria are found in sunspots on the forest floor (paper I-V), on the lookout for females visiting the sunspots. However, males are only found in sunspots above a certain size (paper III). This behavior is maintained by a mating success advantage, where using large sunspots instead of small sunspots as perching areas generates a higher reproductive output (paper I). The mating success asymmetry is not explained by female choice or by a female preference for large sunspots per se (paper I, V), but rather the large sunspot facilitates visual performance of perching males and improves flight pursuit and interception of females (paper III). Winners of territorial contests gain sole ownership of large sunspot territories, while losers search for a new suitable sunspot territory (paper I, II & IV) or use smaller, suboptimal sunspots as perching sites (paper II). Territorial contests between P. aegeria males are not settled due to an obvious morphological/physiological asymmetry (paper I). Rather, variation in resource value and motivational asymmetries are important for settling contests (paper IV). A majority of male-female interactions (paper V) and matings (paper I) are initiated by a perching male detecting and intercepting a flying female. Furthermore, females can affect their chances of being detected by a perching male by behaving more conspicuously (paper V). This thesis highlights the role of female behaviour, variation in resource value and motivation asymmetries to understand the evolution of territoriality in butterflies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2011. 27 p.
Keyword
territoriality, Lepidoptera, sexual selection, mating success, mate locating behaviour, resource-holding potential, motivation, courtship solicitation
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54668 (URN)978-91-7447-182-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-03-18, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-02-25 Created: 2011-02-10 Last updated: 2011-02-17Bibliographically approved

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Bergman, MartinGotthard, KarlBerger, DavidOlofsson, MartinWiklund, Christer
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