Exaggerated traits can be costly and are often trade-off against other characters, such as life-history traits. Thus, the evolution of an exaggerated trait is predicted to affect male life-history strategies. However, there has been very little experimental evidence of the impact of the evolution of sexually selected traits on life-history traits. This study investigated whether increased investment in exaggerated traits can generate evolutionary changes in the life-history strategy for armed males. Male flour beetles, Gnatocerus cornutus, have enlarged mandibles that are used in male-male competition, but females lack this character exaggeration completely. We subjected these weapons to 11 generations of bidirectional selection and found a correlated response in pupal survival but not in larval survival or adult longevity in the male. That is, selecting for male mandibles negatively impacted survival during the production of mandibles. There is no correlated response in the life-history traits of the female.
- Horned beetle
- Resource allocation
- Sexual selection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics