Larval developmental temperature and ambient temperature affect copulation duration in a seed beetle

in Behaviour
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Abstract

The effects of temperature on cellular, systemic and whole-organism processes can be short-term, acting within seconds or minutes of a temperature change, or long-term, acting across ontogenetic stages to affect an organism’s morphology, physiology and behavioural phenotype. Here we examine the effect of larval development temperature on adult copulatory behaviour in the bruchid beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. As predicted by temperature’s kinetic effects, copulation duration was longest at the lowest ambient temperature. However, where ambient temperature was fixed and developmental temperature experimentally varied, males reared at the highest temperature were least likely to engage in copulation, whilst those reared at the lowest temperature copulated for longer. Previous research has shown males reared at cooler temperatures inseminate fewer sperm. Thus, in this species longer copulations are associated with reduced sperm transfer. We argue that knowledge of preceding ontogenetic conditions will help to elucidate the causes of variation in copulatory behaviour.

Larval developmental temperature and ambient temperature affect copulation duration in a seed beetle

in Behaviour

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References

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Figures

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    Box-whisker plots of untransformed durations (s) of the start-to-kick phase, kick-to end phase and total copulation in relation to ambient temperature. Thick horizontal lines indicate the median, bold dots the mean, boxes the 1st and 3rd quartiles and whiskers the upper (maximum) and lower (minimum) values that are not outliers. Outliers are shown as small open circles. Box plots with different superscripts indicate significant differences (p<0.05) between groups as determined by post-hoc Tukey tests on the transformed data.

  • View in gallery

    Total larval length (mm) as a function of the time elapsed since egg laying in relation to developmental temperature. Arrows indicate peak size (see text for details).

  • View in gallery

    Box-whisker plots of untransformed durations (s) of the start-to-kick phase, kick-to end phase and total copulation in relation to development temperature. Thick horizontal lines indicate the median, bold dots the mean, boxes the 1st and 3rd quartiles and whiskers the upper (maximum) and lower (minimum) values that are not outliers. Outliers are shown as small open circles. Box plots with different superscripts indicate significant differences (p<0.05) between groups as determined by post-hoc Tukey tests on the transformed data.

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