Navigation Links
Sexual conflict affects females more than males, says new research on beetles
Date:4/27/2014

Researchers at the University of Exeter have found that sexual conflict over mating impacts the parental care behaviour and reproductive productivity of burying beetles.

These beetles have surprisingly complex parental care, similar in form to that provided by birds such as robins or blackbirds, with offspring begging to be fed by touching parents, who respond by regurgitating partially digested food.

Both males and females provide parental care, but females are the primary care givers, as in humans. So anything that affects the ability of females to provide parental care, such as costly mating, is likely to reduce overall reproductive productivity.

New work published today in the journal Ecology Letters, used artificial selection and mating crosses among selection lines to determine if and how mating behaviours co-evolve with parental care behaviours.

Classical parental care theory suggests that males are expected to provide less care when offspring in a brood are less likely to be their own. However, previous research indicates that this is not always the case, and one reason for this could be because costs associated with behaviours during mating impact behaviours during parental care.

The study tested this idea by artificially selecting burying beetles for either high or low mating rate (a paternity assurance trait) for 7 generations. Patterns of parental care and productivity of different combinations of male-female pairs from the same or different selection lines were then examined to see whether selection on mating behaviour led to a correlated, co-evolutionary response in parental care behaviour.

Male parental care behaviour did not change in response to selection on mating rate, but females responded to selection for high mating rates with a reduction in parental care. Productivity of pairs with females from lines selected for high mating rate was lower than that for pairs where females were from lines selected for low mating rate due to costs of mating for females and because males did not compensate for changes in female behaviour.

Dr Nick Royle, of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter, said: "Our research shows that, despite selecting on a mating behaviour that is known to increase male assurance of paternity, there was no correlated change in male parental care behaviour. Instead, costs of mating in females appear to determine how patterns of parental care evolve in response to changes in mating behaviour. In species with biparental care, such as burying beetles, most birds and humans, our results indicate that males are followers not leaders in the evolution of family life. It is how selection acts on females, not males, that really counts here."

The results of the study are contrary to classical parental care theory and instead support the idea that sexual conflict is more important than parentage in determining patterns of parental care.


'/>"/>
Contact: Eleanor Gaskarth
e.f.gaskarth@exeter.ac.uk
44-782-730-9332
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Study: Exercise can lead to female orgasm, sexual pleasure
2. Study shows unified process of evolution in bacteria and sexual eukaryotes
3. Sexual reproduction brings long-term benefits, study shows
4. UCLA biologists reveal potential fatal flaw in iconic sexual selection study
5. Size does matter in sexual selection, at least among beetles
6. Study finds epigenetics, not genetics, underlies homosexuality
7. Unlike we thought for 100 years: Molds are able to reproduce sexually
8. Survival of the prettiest: Sexual selection can be inferred from the fossil record
9. Discovery of sexual mating in Candida albicans could provide insights into infections
10. Study shows disease spread in ladybirds with sexually transmitted disease
11. Few pregnant women treated for sexually transmitted infections
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Sexual conflict affects females more than males, says new research on beetles
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December ... leading global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with ... behavioural biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients ... strategies in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... LONDON , Dec. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the driving experience, health wellness and wellbeing ... As one in three new passenger vehicles ... voice recognition, gesture recognition, heart beat monitoring, ... eyelid monitoring, facial monitoring, and pulse detection. ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... -- Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, are opening up ... material with Silly Putty. The mixture (known as "G-putty") ... sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, and even the ... The research team,s findings were published Thursday in ... Due ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... November Research Group, LLC, a ... medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to announce the worldwide release of ... designed to provide product vigilance departments with the flexibility and ease of use ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 ... ... virtual events for tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, was ... American News. The awards program is based entirely on merit and decided upon ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 Acupath Laboratories, Inc., a leading provider ... an Executive Committee that will guide the company,s vision ... John Cucci , a 15-year veteran of the anatomic ... Development to Chief Sales Officer .  Prior to ... senior sales leadership roles at several leading lab industry ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... LINCOLN, Mass. , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... in applying mechanistic modeling to drug research and ... , PhD, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Applied ... Group for Informatics and Modeling (BAGIM) Meeting on ... in Cambridge , MA.   Dr. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: