Mating success of resident versus non-resident males in a territorial butterfly
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
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.
Lepidoptera; contest success; mate locating behaviour; female choice; mate choice; butterfly vision
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20780DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2007.0311ISI: 000247315400014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-20780DiVA: diva2:187306