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The repeatability of mating failure in a polyandrous bug

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Abstract

Mating failure, characterised by the lack of production of offspring following copulation, is relatively common across taxa yet is little understood. It is unclear if mating failures are stochastic occurrences between incompatible mating partners or represent a persistent, meaningful phenotype on the part of one or other sex. Here we test this in the seed bug Lygaeus simulans, by sequentially mating families of males with randomly-allocated unrelated females and calculating the repeatability of mating outcome for each individual male and family. Mating outcome is significantly repeatable within individual males but not across full-sib brothers. We conclude that mating failure represents a consistent male-associated phenotype with low heritability in this species, affected by as yet undetermined environmental influences on males.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1578-1582
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume28
Issue number8
Early online date6 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Research areas

  • Sexual selection, Polyandry, Insect reproduction, Mating failure

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