Sexual selection and condition dependence of courtship display in three species of horned dung beetles

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2002
Authors:J. S. Kotiaho
Journal:Behavioral Ecology
Date Published:Nov-Dec
Accession Number:ISI:000179504300011
Keywords:alternative reproductive, condition dependence, FEMALE CHOICE, gradient, horn dimorphism, horned dung beetles, lek, logistic regression, mating success, Onthophagus, onthophagus-acuminatus coleoptera, SELECTION, sexual selection, stalk-eyed flies, tactics

Sexual selection has traditionally been divided into competition over mates and mate choice. Currently, models of sexual selection predict that sexual traits are expressed in proportion to the condition of their bearer. In horned beetles, male contest competition is well established, but studies on female preferences are scarce. Here I present data on male mating success and condition dependence of courtship rate in three species of horn-dimorphic thing beetles, Onthaphagus taurus, Onthophagus binodis, and Onthophagus australis. I found that in the absence of male contest competition, mating success of O. taurus and O. australis was unrelated to their horn length and body size, whereas in O. binodis horn size had a negative effect but body size had a positive effect on male mating success. Overall, in O. binodis major morph males had greater mating success than minor morph males. In all three species male mating success was affected by courtship rate, and the Courtship rate was condition dependent such that when males were manipulated to be in poor condition they had lower courtship rates than males that were manipulated to be in good condition. My findings provide new insight into the mating systems of horned dung beetles and support an important assumption in indicator models of sexual selection.

URL:<Go to ISI>://000179504300011
Alternate Journal:Behav. Ecol.
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