Journal article

Males evolve to be more harmful under increased sexual conflict intensity in a seed beetle

Kathryn B McNamara, Nadia S Sloan, Sian E Kershaw, Emile Van Lieshout, Leigh W Simmons

BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY | OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC | Published : 2020

Abstract

One conspicuous manifestation of sexual conflict is traumatic mating, in which male genitalia damage the female during copulation. The penis of the seed beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, is covered in spines that damage the female reproductive tract. Females kick males ostensibly to shorten these harmful copulations. How these iconic conflict behaviors coevolve in response to sexual conflict intensity can provide insight into the economics of these traits. We examined whether male harm and female resistance coevolved in response to elevated sexual conflict. We quantified copulation behavior and female reproductive tract damage of individuals from replicated populations evolving for 32 genera..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (DE160100097 to K.B.M. and DP110104594 to L.W.S.).We thank Freddy Simmons, Carly Wilson, Stephen Robinson, and Blake Wyber for assistance with experiments. This work was funded by the Australian Research Council.