Longevity cost of reproduction for males but no longevity cost of mating or courtship for females in the male-dimorphic dung beetle Onthophagus binodis

J.S. Kotiaho, Leigh Simmons

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    107 Citations (Web of Science)

    Abstract

    Life history theory predicts a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Despite a wealth of research on the cost of reproduction for females, there have been very few studies that have looked at the cost of reproduction for males. Longevity is closely related to the opportunity for future reproduction, and thus decreased longevity in response to current reproductive effort has been used as a measure of the cost of reproduction. Here we examine the cost of reproduction for males and females in the dung beetle Onthophagus binodis. Like many onthophagines, O. binodis exhibit dimorphic male morphology; major males develop a large pronotal horn while minor males remain hornless. Alternative morphologies are associated with alternative reproductive tactics. Thus, we ask whether major and minor males pay different costs of reproduction. We found that in contrast to previous work on Diptera, mating is not costly in terms of reduced longevity for female dung beetles. Despite a longevity cost of reproduction for males, we found no evidence for differential longevity costs associated with alternative reproductive tactics. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)817-822
    JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
    Volume49
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

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