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Does female mating history affect mate choice of males in the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae?

Oku, K.

2013 - Volume: 53 Issue: 2 pages: 217-220


Tetranychus urticae Tetranychidae male mated female copulation mating history


Males of the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) attempt to copulate with mated females unreceptive to copulation. However, only the first copulation results in fertilization when the interval between the first and second copulation is longer than 24 h. Therefore, such male copulation behaviour does not directly contribute to male fitness. A previous study examined indirect effects on male fitness, but no effect was detected. A proximate explanation for males attempting to copulate with mated females may be the inability of males to discriminate between females that have recently copulated and those that had copulated earlier. Thus, here I tested male preference for females that had copulated 30 h ago and those that had copulated 6 h ago under dual choice conditions. Males chose equally both types of females, which supports the proximate explanation of male discrimination inability. In conclusion, this study suggests that males attempt to copulate with mated females because they are unable to perceive female mating history.

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2013 Oku, K.
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