Temporal dynamics of intersexual conflict and the effect of male quality on female fecundity in the marine isopod Cleantiella isopus

in Behaviour
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Crustacean males grasp and/or guard females before copulation to ensure mating, but females typically resist males during pair formation. The benefit of resistance for females might allow (1) females to optimize mate quality, or (2) to avoid costs incurred during guarding. However, it has not been fully investigated which benefits actually improve female fitness. Here we investigated female resistance, temporal dynamics of intersexual conflict during reproduction, and the effect of male size and male mating frequency on female fecundity in the marine isopod, Cleantiella isopus to examine the relative importance of the two mechanisms mentioned before. Females resisted even after they had become receptive. Females which mated with small males showed lower fecundity than the ones with large males, and small males were frequently unable to form pairs. These results suggest that female resistance of C. isopus against males can function as a way to optimize mate quality.

Temporal dynamics of intersexual conflict and the effect of male quality on female fecundity in the marine isopod Cleantiella isopus

in Behaviour



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    Differences of guarding duration between the 3 experimental groups. Each number below group names indicates sample size. Vertical bars show SD; p<0.05, ∗∗p<0.01.

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    Temporal dynamics of (a) occurrence of aggressiveness shown by males (∘, —) and females (×, - - -), (b) occurrence of pair formation, (c) duration which intersexual contest lasted, (d) number of male flexes and (e) number of female flexes with respect to time left to the female’s precopulatory moult in Cleantiella isopus. Total number of trials was 53. Occurrence 1 means it occurred and 0 means it did not occur. Time 0 means the completion of the posterior part of precopulatory moult. Vertical bars in (c) show SE.

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    Relationship between mating frequency by males of various body lengths and (a) percentage of females spawning, (b) female fecundity and (c) the possibility of female refusal of the male (avoidance to form a pair and/or separating pair). Each number above the plots indicates sample size. Vertical bars in (b) show SE.

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