Males increase their fitness by choosing large females in the common bedbug Cimex lectularius

In: Animal Biology
View More View Less
  • 1 Animal Population Ecology, Animal Ecology I, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

€25.00$30.00

Abstract

Mate choice is often a role assigned to females. Already Darwin realised that males are eager to copulate, and females are choosy. However, male mate choice is not as rare as assumed. Males should choose females if females vary in quality, i.e., fecundity. Indeed, males often choose larger mates and through this preference increase fitness benefits. In addition, if mating costs reduce the number of copulations a male can potentially perform, he should be choosy. Bedbug females vary in their fecundity and female size is positively related to fecundity. Male bedbugs are limited in seminal fluid availability and, hence, the number of consecutive matings they can perform. Traumatic insemination gives males full control over mating, therefore low female mating resistance could further allow males to be choosy. Here, using mate choice arenas, we investigated if male bedbugs prefer to mate with large females. We observed mating behaviour and measured female fecundity to investigate potential male fitness benefits. Males chose to mate with large females 1.8 times more often than small females and large females laid significantly more eggs than small females. Our study provides first evidence for male mate choice based on female body size in bedbugs and males can increase their fitness by mating large females. It has to be further established if male mate choice is driven by mating costs in terms of ejaculate investment and if such male mate choice based on female size could be a driver of sexual size dimorphism in bedbugs.

  • Andersson, M.B. (1994) Sexual Selection. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, USA.

  • Assis, B.A., Trietsch, C. & Foellmer, M.W. (2017) Male mate choice based on chemical cues in the cricket Acheta domesticus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae). Ecol. Entomol., 42, 11-17.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bateman, A.J. (1948) Intra-sexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity, 2, 349-368.

  • Belliure, J., Fresnillo, B. & Cuervo, J.G.J. (2018) Male mate choice based on female coloration in a lizard: the role of a juvenile trait. Behav. Ecol., 29, 543-552.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bonduriansky, R. (2001) The evolution of male mate choice in insects: a synthesis of ideas and evidence. Biol. Rev., 76, 305-339.

  • Bretz, F., Hothorn, T. & Westfall, P. (2010) Multiple Comparisons Using R. Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, London, UK.

  • Byrne, P.G. & Rice, W.R. (2006) Evidence for adaptive male mate choice in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 273, 917-922.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, P.A. & Wedell, N. (1996) Ejaculate dynamics in butterflies: a strategy for maximizing fertilization success? Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 263, 1047-1051.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Darwin, C.R. (1871) The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. John Murray, London, UK.

  • Dosen, L.D. & Montgomerie, R. (2004) Female size influences mate preferences of male guppies. Ethology, 110, 245-255.

  • Edvardsson, M. & Canal, D. (2006) The effects of copulation duration in the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. Behav. Ecol., 17, 430-434.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Edward, D.A. & Chapman, T. (2011) The evolution and significance of male mate choice. Trends Ecol. Evol., 26, 647-654.

  • Fox, J. & Weisberg, S. (2011) An R Companion to Applied Regression. 2nd Edition. SAGE Publications Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.

  • Gress, B.E. & Pitnick, S. (2017) Size-dependent ejaculation strategies and reproductive success in the yellow dung fly, Scathophaga stercoraria. Anim. Behav., 127, 281-287.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Guevara-Fiore, P. & Endler, J.A. (2018) Female receptivity affects subsequent mating effort and mate choice in male guppies. Anim. Behav., 140, 73-79.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harari, A.R., Handler, A.M. & Landolt, P.J. (1999) Size-assortative mating, male choice and female choice in the curculionid beetle Diaprepes abbreviatus. Anim. Behav., 58, 1191-1200.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Herdman, E.J., Kelly, C.D. & Godin, J.G.J. (2004) Male mate choice in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata): do males prefer larger females as mates? Ethology, 110, 97-111.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Honěk, A. (1993) Intraspecific variation in body size and fecundity in insects: a general relationship. Oikos, 66, 483-492.

  • Hothorn, T., Bretz, F. & Westfall, P. (2008) Simultaneous inference in general parametric models. Biom. J., 50, 346-363.

  • Hotzy, C. & Arnqvist, G. (2009) Sperm competition favors harmful males in seed beetles. Curr. Biol., 19, 404-407.

  • Janicke, T., Häderer, I.K., Lajeunesse, M.J. & Anthes, N. (2016) Darwinian sex roles confirmed across the animal kingdom. Sci. Adv., 2, e1500983. DOI:10.1126/sciadv.1500983.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaldun, B. & Otti, O. (2016) Condition-dependent ejaculate production affects male mating behaviour in the common bedbug Cimex lectularius. Ecol. Evol., 6, 2548-2558.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lefranc, A. & Bundgaard, J. (2000) The influence of male and female body size on copulation duration and fecundity in Drosophila melanogaster. Hereditas, 132, 243-247.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Long, T.A.F., Pischedda, A., Stewart, A.D. & Rice, W.R. (2009) A cost of sexual attractiveness to high-fitness females. PLoS Biol., 7, e1000254. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lüpold, S., Manier, M.K., Ala-Honkola, O., Belote, J.M. & Pitnick, S. (2011) Male Drosophila melanogaster adjust ejaculate size based on female mating status, fecundity, and age. Behav. Ecol., 22, 184-191.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MacLeod, E.C. & Andrade, M.C.B. (2014) Strong, convergent male mate choice along two preference axes in field populations of black widow spiders. Anim. Behav., 89, 163-169.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Michels, J., Gorb, S.N. & Reinhardt, K. (2015) Reduction of female copulatory damage by resilin represents evidence for tolerance in sexual conflict. J. R. Soc. Interface, 12, 20141107. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2014.1107.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morales, M. (2017) sciplot: scientific graphing functions for factorial designs. R package version 1.1-1. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=sciplot.

  • Morita, K. & Takashima, Y. (1998) Effect of female size on fecundity and egg size in white-spotted charr: comparison between sea-run and resident forms. J. Fish Biol., 53, 1140-1142.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Otti, O., McTighe, A.P. & Reinhardt, K. (2013) In vitro antimicrobial sperm protection by an ejaculate-like substance. Funct. Ecol., 27, 219-226.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pitnick, S. & García-González, F. (2002) Harm to females increases with male body size in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 269, 1821-1828.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Plath, M., Seggel, U., Burmeister, H., Heubel, K.U. & Schlupp, I. (2006) Choosy males from the underground: male mating preferences in surface-and cave-dwelling Atlantic mollies (Poecilia mexicana). Naturwissenschaften, 93, 103-109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R Core Team (2017) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reading, K.L. & Backwell, P.R.Y. (2007) Can beggars be choosers? Male mate choice in a fiddler crab. Anim. Behav., 74, 867-872.

  • Reinhardt, K. & Siva-Jothy, M.T. (2007) Biology of the bed bugs (Cimicidae). Annu. Rev. Entomol., 52, 351-374.

  • Reinhardt, K., Naylor, R. & Siva-Jothy, M.T. (2003) Reducing a cost of traumatic insemination: female bedbugs evolve a unique organ. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 270, 2371-2375.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reinhardt, K., Naylor, R.A. & Siva-Jothy, M.T. (2009) Situation exploitation: higher male mating success when female resistance is reduced by feeding. Evolution, 63, 29-39.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reinhardt, K., Naylor, R. & Siva-Jothy, M.T. (2011) Male mating rate is constrained by seminal fluid availability in bedbugs, Cimex lectularius. PLoS One, 6, e22082. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0022082.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sarkar, D. (2008) Lattice: Multivariate Data Visualization with R. Springer, New York, NY, USA.

  • Schneider, C.A., Rasband, W.S. & Eliceiri, K.W. (2012) NIH image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis. Nat. Methods, 9, 671-675.

  • Simmons, L.W. (2001) Sperm Competition and Its Evolutionary Consequences in the Insects. Monographs in Behavior and Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, USA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sirot, L.K., Wolfner, M.F. & Wigby, S. (2011) Protein-specific manipulation of ejaculate composition in response to female mating status in Drosophila melanogaster. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 108, 9922-9926.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Siva-Jothy, M.T. & Stutt, A.D. (2003) A matter of taste: direct detection of female mating status in the bedbug. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 270, 649-652.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stutt, A.D. & Siva-Jothy, M.T. (2001) Traumatic insemination and sexual conflict in the bed bug Cimex lectularius. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 98, 5683-5687.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tigreros, N., Mowery, M.A. & Lewis, S.M. (2014) Male mate choice favors more colorful females in the gift-giving cabbage butterfly. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol., 68, 1539-1547.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trivers, R.L. (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. In: B. Campbell (Ed.) Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man, pp. 139-179. Aldine Press, Chicago, IL, USA.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Usinger, R.L. (1966) Monograph of Cimicidae. Entomological Society of America, College Park, MD, USA.

  • Venables, W.N. & Ripley, B.D. (2002) Modern Applied Statistics with S. 4th Edition. Springer, New York, NY, USA.

  • Wigby, S., Sirot, L.K., Linklater, J.R., Buehner, N., Calboli, F.C., Bretman, A., Wolfner, M.F. & Chapman, T. (2009) Seminal fluid protein allocation and male reproductive success. Curr. Biol., 19, 751-757.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zahradnik, T.D., Lemay, M.A. & Boulding, E.G. (2008) Choosy males in a littorinid gastropod: male Littorina subrotundata prefer large and virgin females. J. Molluscan Stud., 74, 245-251.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 192 128 8
Full Text Views 123 7 3
PDF Downloads 69 2 2