Genetic trade-off between abilities to avoid attack and to mate: A cost of tonic immobility

Satoshi Nakayama, Takahisa Miyatake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Consistent individual differences in correlated behaviours across contexts or situations, that is, behavioural syndromes, have recently been identified as an important factor shaping the evolution of behavioural traits, because of their potential for explaining trade-offs in behavioural responses. We examined a genetic link between abilities to mate and to avoid predation from the viewpoint of two genetically correlated behavioural traits; tonic immobility (TI), which is considered to be an antipredator behaviour, and activity levels in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Males derived from two strains arti-ficially selected for divergent durations of TI were used in the present study: the L strain (with longer duration and higher frequency of TI) and the S strain (shorter duration and lower frequency of TI). We found that males of the L strain had higher survival rates in predatory environments than those of the S strain, and lower mating success even in predator-free environments. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study showing a genetic trade-off between abilities to mate and to avoid predation in relation to behavioural syndromes, using individuals exhibiting different behavioural strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-20
Number of pages3
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 23 2010



  • Behavioural syndromes
  • Death feigning
  • Genetic trade-offs
  • Locomotor activity
  • Tonic immobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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