Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Sex ratios under asymmetrical local mate competition: Theory and a test with parasitoid wasps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

David Michael Shuker, I Pen, AB Duncan, SE Reece, SA West

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Sex ratio theory allows unparalleled opportunities for testing how well animal behavior can be predicted by evolutionary theory. For example, Hamilton's theory of local mate competition (LMC) is well understood and can explain variation in sex allocation across numerous species. This allows more specific predictions to be developed and tested. Here we extend LMC theory to a situation that will be common in a range of species: asymmetrical LMC. Asymmetrical LMC occurs when females lay eggs on a patch asynchronously and male offspring do not disperse, leading to relatively weaker LMC for males emerging from later broods. Varying levels of LMC then lead to varying optimal sex ratios for females, depending on when and where they oviposit. We confirm the assumptions of our theory using the wasp Nasonia vitripennis and then test our predictions. We show that females adjust their offspring sex ratios in the directions predicted, laying different sex ratios on different hosts within a patch. Specifically, there was a less female-biased sex ratio when ovipositing on an unparasitized host if another host on the patch had previously been parasitized and a less female-biased sex ratio on parasitized hosts if females also oviposited on an unparasitized host.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-316
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Naturalist
Volume166
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005

    Research areas

  • Nasonia vitripennis, adaptation, clutch size, host choice, sex allocation, NASONIA-VITRIPENNIS HYMENOPTERA, HIERARCHICAL SELECTION THEORY, CLUTCH SIZE, FIG WASPS, STRUCTURED POPULATION, COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY, NATURAL-POPULATION, PTEROMALIDAE, EVOLUTION, CONSTRAINTS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Validating the demethylating effects of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in insects requires a whole-genome approach (A reply to Ellers et al.)

    Cook, N., Parker, D. J., Tauber, E., Pannebakker, B. A. & Shuker, D. M., Sep 2019, In : American Naturalist. 194, 3

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Local mate competition modifies the costs of mating in a mostly monandrous parasitoid wasp

    Boulton, R. A., Cook, N., Greenway, E. V., Glaser, G. L., Green, J. & Shuker, D. M., 5 Apr 2019, In : Behavioral Ecology. 30, 2, p. 417-425 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. The fitness effects of a pale mutant in the aposematic seed bug Lygaeus simulans indicate pleiotropy between warning coloration and life history

    Balfour, V. L., Aumont, C., Dougherty, L. R. & Shuker, D. M., Dec 2018, In : Ecology and Evolution. 8, 24, p. 12855-12866 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. An inconvenient truth: the unconsidered benefits of convenience polyandry

    Boulton, R. A., Zuk, M. & Shuker, D. M., Dec 2018, In : Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 33, 12, 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Divergence is not speciation, or why we need females: a comment on Tinghitella et al

    Burdfield-Steel, E. R. & Shuker, D. M., 3 Jul 2018, In : Behavioral Ecology. 29, 4, p. 801

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. American Naturalist (Journal)

    Andy Gardner (Editor)
    20112015

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Validating the demethylating effects of 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in insects requires a whole-genome approach (A reply to Ellers et al.)

    Cook, N., Parker, D. J., Tauber, E., Pannebakker, B. A. & Shuker, D. M., Sep 2019, In : American Naturalist. 194, 3

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Body size as a driver of scavenging in theropod dinosaurs

    Kane, A., Healy, K., Ruxton, G. D. & Jackson, A. L., Jun 2016, In : American Naturalist. 187, 6, p. 706-716 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Intragenomic conflict over soldier allocation in polyembryonic parasitoid wasps

    Rautiala, P. & Gardner, A., 18 Feb 2016, In : American Naturalist. 187, 4, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. DNA methylation and sex allocation in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis

    Cook, N., Pannebakker, B., Tauber, E. & Shuker, D. M., Oct 2015, In : American Naturalist. 186, 4, p. 513-518

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Florivory as an opportunity benefit of aposematism

    Higginson, A. D., Speed, M. P. & Ruxton, G. D., Dec 2015, In : American Naturalist. 186, 6, p. 728-741 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 434904

Top