The question why females in many species mate with several males (polyandry) has engaged the interest of evolutionary biologists for many years, and many studies have been conducted on the nature of the benefits that the females gain from polyandry. To understand the variation of female mating rates among species and populations it is indispensable to test the prediction that females of more polyandrous populations experience larger fitness benefit than those of less polyandrous populations. We compared the fitness components of two strains of the adzuki bean beetle Callosobruchus chinensis that have genetically different female mating rates. We measured the number of hatched eggs of once-copulated females and twice-copulated females in each strain. The statistical interaction for the number of hatched eggs between the number of matings and strains was determined. The increase in the number of hatched eggs is larger for the lower mating-rate strain than for the higher mating rate strain. This means that females of the lower mating-rate strain would have larger fitness gain from polyandry than those of the higher mating-rate strain. The actual mating rates of females did not reflect female interests in adzuki bean beetles, suggesting they are affected by sexual conflict.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology