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Differences in mate location behaviours between residents and nonresidents in a territorial butterfly
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. (ekologi)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. (Ekologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4719-487X
2009 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, ISSN 0003-3472, Vol. 78, no 5, 1161-1167 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mate location strategies vary between species. Among butterflies two strategies are recognized: 'patrolling' males spend their life on the wing searching for females and 'perching' males stay at a specific site waiting to intercept passing females. In the speckled wood butterfly, Pararge aegeria, two alternative male strategies have been described: dominant males adopt a perching strategy monopolizing large sunspots on the forest floor, and subdominant males adopt a patrolling strategy. However, comparative analyses have shown that body design differs between perching and patrolling species, hence constraining opportunity for within-species variation in mate location strategy. We tested whether males differ in their propensity to adopt perching or patrolling behaviour by recording time spent flying during 30 min when alone in a large cage with only one large sunspot and many smaller ones, and whether subdominant males adopt a patrolling strategy by allowing dyads of males to interact in the cage for 60 min and recording the same behaviours again. All males adopted perching behaviour when alone, and subdominant males in dyads spent only a short time in extended flights after losing contests over territory ownership, soon returning to a perching strategy and making the best of a bad job from the vantage point of a small sunspot. We argue that previous descriptions of subdominant male P. aegeria adopting a patrolling strategy are based on too short observation periods, and have mistaken males in temporary transit for males adopting patrolling behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, England: ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD , 2009. Vol. 78, no 5, 1161-1167 p.
Keyword [en]
alternative strategy; Lepidoptera; Pararge aegeria; patrolling; perching; satellite strategy; sexual selection; speckled wood butterfly
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Animal Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-33228DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.08.003ISI: 000271099200019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-33228DiVA: diva2:282745
Available from: 2009-12-21 Created: 2009-12-21 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically 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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