Navigation Links
Female marine snails trick amorous males
Date:9/13/2010

Sexual conflict is not only a human phenomenon. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg have shown that females of the rough periwinkle conceal their gender identity in order to avoid excessive copulation.

The females of most species of snail excrete a substance in their mucous trails that enables males to find them more easily, since they can distinguish between trails from females and those from other males. The males follow the mucous trails laid down by females in order to find a partner for mating. However, the females of one of the species studied (Littorina saxatilis) have stopped labelling their mucous trails.

Males must search twice as long

"The consequence of this for the females is that they copulate less frequently, since the males often follow the trails of other males and must therefore spend twice as long looking for a female. This may appear strange at first sight, since we expect it to be in the females' interests to mate. But we show that copulation is costly for the females and that they already achieve more copulation than is required to fertilise all of their eggs", says Kerstin Johannesson, professor of marine ecology.

Scientists at Tjrn have shown in a previous study that a snail may carry offspring that result from copulation with at least 20 males.

Less sex is beneficial for the females

The scientists have now been able to show that evolution has favoured those females who can conceal their gender identity. Females who can mask their trails copulate significantly less often than other females and thus have a greater chance of surviving.

"It is beneficial for males to mate as often as possible, since this is the only way in which they can influence the number of offspring they father. But it is costly for the females to mate often, and this is important for them in surviving during the period they are carrying offspring."

A situation in which individuals of different gender have conflicting interests is known as a "sexual conflict". Such conflicts can arise in various situations, and this is one of few examples of a sexual conflict in which the females attempt to conceal their gender. There are some other examples, including certain species of damselfly in which some of the females conceal their gender, simply by having the same colouring as the males.

The study of the remarkable behaviour of the rough periwinkle has been carried out by Kerstin Johannesson in collaboration with Sara Saltin, Iris Duranovic, Jon Havenhand and Per Jonsson at the Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kerstin Johannesson
kerstin.johannesson@marecol.gu.se
46-052-668-611
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Female plant communicates rejection or acceptance of male
2. Female embryonic sexual development driven by universal factor
3. Study first to pinpoint why analgesic drugs may be less potent in females than in males
4. The more promiscuous the female, the speedier the sperm
5. Reproductive life of male mice is increased by living with females
6. Female birds jam their mates flirtatious songs
7. Female mammals follow their noses to the right mates
8. Caffeine appears to be beneficial in males -- but not females -- with Lou Gehrigs disease
9. Caffeine appears to be beneficial in males -- but not females -- with Lou Gehrigs disease
10. Remembrance of things past influences how female field crickets select mates
11. Sexual harassment from males prevents female bonding, says study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Female marine snails trick amorous males
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., ... Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field ... DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
Breaking Biology Technology: