Females prefer male traits that are associated with direct and/or indirect benefits to themselves. Male-male competition also drives evolution of male traits that represent competitive ability. Because female choice and male-male competition rarely act independently, exploring how these two mechanisms interact is necessary for integrative understanding of the evolution of sexually selected traits. Here, we focused on direct and indirect benefits to females from male attractiveness, courtship, and weapon characters in the armed bug Riptortus pedestris. The males use their hind legs to fight other males over territory and perform courtship displays for successful copulation. Females of R. pedestris receive no direct benefit from mating with attractive males. On the other hand, we found that male attractiveness, courtship rate, and weapon size were significantly heritable and that male attractiveness had positive genetic covariances with both courtship rate and weapon traits. Thus, females obtain indirect benefits from mating with attractive males by producing sons with high courtship success rates and high competitive ability. Moreover, it is evident that courtship rate and hind leg length act as evaluative cues of female choice. Therefore, female mate choice and male-male competition may facilitate each other in R. pedestris. This is consistent with current basic concepts of sexual selection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)