Journal article

Extreme cost of male riding behaviour for juvenile females of the Zeus bug

Theresa M Jones, Mark A Elgar, Goran Arnqvist

Animal Behaviour | ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2010


Precopulatory male mate guarding is predicted to occur close to the female's fertile period. However, in many species mate guarding commences when females are juveniles and may be several moults from sexual maturity. Such behaviour is inconsistent with the above prediction. In the Zeus bug, Phoreticovelia disparata, sexual size dimorphism is very pronounced and adult males commence riding on the backs of juvenile fourth-instar females. Males derive direct benefits from this association but the fitness consequences of precopulatory male riding behaviour for females are unknown. We investigated the effect of male presence during juvenile development for female Zeus bugs. We found a dramatic co..

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