Mate choice may have important consequences for offspring sex ratio and fitness of haplodiploid insects. Mate preference of females of the solitary larval parasitoid Microplitis croceipes (Cresson) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) for virgin and mated males, and vice versa, and the reproductive consequences (i.e., the sex ratio expressed as the proportion of male offspring) were examined in choice and non-choice experiments. In addition, the effect of repeated rapid and daily copulation of an individual male on the sex ratio of offspring of the female mates was assessed. Males preferred virgins over mated females, whereas females copulated with a male irrespective of his mating status. In both the rapid and daily copulation assay, females copulating with a male that had copulated five times or more produced a higher sex ratio than females that had copulated with a virgin male. Females that copulated with virgin males once or twice produced a significantly and considerably lower sex ratio than females that first copulated with a sperm-depleted male followed by a virgin male. This indicates that copulating with a sperm-depleted male has costs and limits acquisition by the female of sperm from virgin males.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics