Sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus? Females prefer lovers not fighters

Kensuke Okada, Masako Katsuki, Manmohan D. Sharma, Clarissa M. House, David J. Hosken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Female mate choice and male-male competition are the typical mechanisms of sexual selection. However, these two mechanisms do not always favour the same males. Furthermore, it has recently become clear that female choice can sometimes benefit males that reduce female fitness. So whether male-male competition and female choice favour the same or different males, and whether or not females benefit from mate choice, remain open questions. In the horned beetle, Gnatocerus cornutus, males have enlarged mandibles used to fight rivals, and larger mandibles provide a mating advantage when there is direct male-male competition for mates. However, it is not clear whether females prefer these highly competitive males. Here, we show that female choice targets male courtship rather than mandible size, and these two characters are not phenotypically or genetically correlated. Mating with attractive, highly courting males provided indirect benefits to females but only via the heritability of male attractiveness. However, mating with attractive males avoids the indirect costs to daughters that are generated by mating with competitive males. Our results suggest that male-male competition may constrain female mate choice, possibly reducing female fitness and generating sexual conflict over mating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20140281
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume281
Issue number1785
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 2014

Fingerprint

Gnatocerus cornutus
sexual conflict
mate choice
mating behavior
Mandible
Conflict (Psychology)
Costs
fitness

Keywords

  • direct benefits
  • heritability
  • indirect benefits
  • sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus? Females prefer lovers not fighters. / Okada, Kensuke; Katsuki, Masako; Sharma, Manmohan D.; House, Clarissa M.; Hosken, David J.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 281, No. 1785, 22.06.2014, p. 20140281.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Okada, Kensuke ; Katsuki, Masako ; Sharma, Manmohan D. ; House, Clarissa M. ; Hosken, David J. / Sexual conflict over mating in Gnatocerus cornutus? Females prefer lovers not fighters. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2014 ; Vol. 281, No. 1785. pp. 20140281.
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