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What affects mating rate?: Polyandry is higher in the directly developing generation of the butterfly Pieris napi
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7104-1406
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4719-487X
2010 (English)In: Animal Behaviour, ISSN 0003-3472, E-ISSN 1095-8282, Vol. 80, 413-418 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Polyandry is common among insects and female insects in general gain directly from mating multiply in terms of increased lifetime reproductive success. Nevertheless, polyandry is not rampant, suggesting that realized polyandry is the outcome of costs and benefits associated with multiple matings. In the bivoltine green-veined white butterfly Pieris napi, females gain from mating multiply as males transfer a substantial nuptial gift along with the sperm at mating. Nonetheless, lifetime number of matings varies between 1 and 6 and 12 % of females mate only once. Here, we explore the reason for this variation and test (1) whether female polyandry is contingent on environmental conditions, specifically whether females can compensate for adverse conditions by mating more often, and (2) whether the level of polyandry differs between the diapausing generation that flies after pupal hibernation, and the directly developing generation, specifically whether females in the more time-constrained summer generation are more polyandrous, possibly as a result of selection for early high mating propensity and thereby shorter pre-reproductive period. Results showed that (1) females do not compensate for adverse conditions by mating more often, and (2) the level of polyandry was higher in the directly developing generation than in the diapause generation. Hence, we argue that differences in time stress and mating propensity between generations interplay in shaping mating frequency, and that the difference in polyandry between generations highlights the importance of integrating developmental pathway and life history.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd. , 2010. Vol. 80, 413-418 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41287DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.05.025ISI: 000280846800009OAI: diva2:329303

Author count:2;

Available from: 2010-07-09 Created: 2010-07-09 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Life history evolution in a bivoltine butterfly
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Life history evolution in a bivoltine butterfly
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Evolution is not always straight-forward, as selection pressures may differ between different generations of the same species. This thesis focuses on the evolution of life history of the model species, the Green-veined White butterfly Pieris napi. In central Sweden P. napi has two generations per year. The directly developing summer generation is short-lived and time stressed, compared to the diapausing generation.

In paper I polyandry, defined as female mating rate, was shown to differ between generations but was unaffected by environmental factors. In paper II both males and females of the direct developing generation were shown to eclose more immature than the diapausing generation, indicating larval time constraints. Consistent with this, diapausing males mated sooner than direct developers. Directly developing females, however, mated sooner after eclosion than diapausing females, even though they are more immature. This was shown to negatively affect fecundity, but can pay off when the season is short.

Paper III shows that directly developing males have less sex pheromones at eclosion than diapausers, and the differences in sex pheromone production is consistent with developmental time constraints and the differences in mating system.

In P. napi and other polyandrous butterflies, males transfer a large, nutritious ejaculate at mating. Large ejaculates confer advantages under sperm competition, but as they are costly, males should adjust ejaculate size to the risk of sperm competition. In paper IV we found that males transfer on average 20% larger spermatophores under high male competition than at low competition. The same effect could be observed if we added male sex pheromone to the air in a mating cage without male-male competition. Paper V shows that males of the two generations respond differently to an increase in male-male competition, with diapausing males transferring larger spermatophores than direct developers at high male competition risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, 2012. 24 p.
Bivoltine, Diapause, Lepidoptera, Life history, Mating system, Pheromone, Polyphenism, Population density, Sexual selection, Sperm competition
National Category
Research subject
Animal Ecology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81399 (URN)978-91-7447-592-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-12-07, Magnelisalen,Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defence the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Submitted manuscript.

Available from: 2012-11-15 Created: 2012-10-18 Last updated: 2014-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Larsdotter Mellström, HelenaWiklund, Christer
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