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Sexual selection on male development time in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mating systems are shaped by a species' ecology, which sets the stage for sexual selection. Males of the gregarious parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis compete to mate virgin females at the natal site, before females disperse. Males could increase their fitness by being larger and monopolizing female emergence sites or by emerging earlier pre-empting access to females. We consider sexual selection on male body size and development time in Nasonia, and a potential trade-off between the two traits. We explored sex-specific patterns of larval and pupal development, finding that smaller wasps developed slower than their host-mates. Using competition experiments between brothers, we found that earlier eclosing males mated more females independently of absolute and relative body size. Our data explain the lack of relationship between fitness and body size in male Nasonia and reinforce the importance of protandry in mating systems where access to mates is time-limited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2002-2013
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

    Research areas

  • body size, development time, mating success, protandry, sexual selection, trade-off, LOCAL MATE COMPETITION, BODY-SIZE, EXTRAPAIR PATERNITY, RATIO EVOLUTION, HOST QUALITY, HYMENOPTERA, FITNESS, PTEROMALIDAE, PROTANDRY, BEHAVIOR

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