Impact of female mating status and female familiarity with remating interval on the reproductive success of Propylea dissecta (Mulsant) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

In: Animal Biology
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  • 1 Ladybird Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow-226007, India
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Remating rate is a fundamental parameter that acts on disease transmission, sexual dimorphism, and the rate of evolution of species. Recent studies have indicated that sperm production can be costly. It is thus likely that males may tailor their sperm expenditure according to female mating status and the remating interval between successive matings. In this study, we investigated the effects of male remating interval, female mating status and familiarity of females in the ladybird beetle Propylea dissecta (Mulsant). Ten-day-old adults were allowed to mate and, post disengagement, these adults were exposed to second mating opportunities, either immediately after the first mating, or 6, 18 or 24 h later. To assess the effect of female mating status, the males were subjected to mating with virgin and mated females. Similarly, for assessing the effects of female familiarity, males were subjected to mating with either familiar or unfamiliar females. With increasing remating interval individuals mated for longer, resulting in higher fecundity. Percent egg viability increased with increased remating interval and was highest at 24 h. Mated and unfamiliar females were found to be more fecund than virgin females. Mated females produced a higher number of viable eggs than virgins, suggesting that multiple mating and promiscuity are essential for maximizing the reproductive success of both sexes.

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