Contest outcome in a territorial butterfly: the role of motivation
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 277, no 1696, 3027-3033 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In many butterfly species, males compete over areas advantageous for encountering females. Rules for contest settlement are, however, largely unknown and neither morphological nor physiological traits can reliably predict the contest outcome. Here, we test the hypothesis that contests are settled in accordance with a motivation asymmetry. We staged contests between males of Pararge aegeria and after removing the resident, the non-resident was allowed (i) either to interact with a non-receptive female for 30 min (n = 30) or (ii) to spend 30 min alone in the cage (n = 30), after which the initial resident was reintroduced. The results show that males that had interacted with a female had a higher probability of becoming dominant and reversing contest outcome. Moreover, males that were faster to take over a vacant territory when the resident was removed were more likely to become dominant. Here, we show for the first time, to our knowledge, that frequent encounters with a mated female can increase male motivation to persist in a territorial contest in a butterfly. Further, we suggest that variation in intrinsic motivation reflects male eagerness to take over vacant territory. This study indicates that variation in resource value and motivational asymmetries are important for settling contests in butterflies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 277, no 1696, 3027-3033 p.
sexual selection, Lepidoptera, mate locating behaviour, loser effect, resource-holding potential
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49448DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0646ISI: 000281312400018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49448DiVA: diva2:379179
authorCount :32010-12-172010-12-142014-10-28Bibliographically approved