Patterns of parental provisioning covary with male morphology in a horned beetle (Onthophagus taurus) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1998
Authors:J. Hunt, Simmons L. W.
Journal:Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Keywords:Animalia-, Animals-, Arthropoda-, Arthropods-, Coleoptera-: Insecta-, Insects-, Invertebrata-, Invertebrates-, male-, male-dimorphism, morphology-, Onthophagus-taurus [horned-beetle] (Coleoptera-): female-, parental-care-patter, Reproduction-

Male dung beetles, Onthophagus taurus, are dimorphic for a secondary sexual trait, head horns. Horned males participate in the production of brood masses while hornless male do not. Here we examine the reproductive performance of females mated with males exhibiting alternative horn morphologies. We found that exposure to males may be costly for females in that it reduced the total number of brood masses produced. However, females paired with horned males produced significantly larger brood masses than females paired with hornless males or females producing broods alone. We discuss the possible selection pressures that may underly horn evolution in this genus.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith