Mate-guarding in a promiscuous insect: species discrimination influences context-dependent behaviour

  • Burdfield-Steel E
  • Shuker D
  • 13

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 7

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Mating strategy is often informed by social context. However, information on social environment may be sensitive to interference by nearby heterospecifics, a process known as reproductive interference (RI). When heterospecific individuals are present in the environment, failures in species discrimination can lead to sub-optimal mating behaviours, such as misplaced courtship, misplaced rivalry behaviours, or heterospecific copulation attempts. All aspects of mating behaviour that are influenced by social context may be prone to RI, including copulatory behaviours associated with mate-guarding in the presence of possible competitors. Here we investigate the effect of three heterospecifics on the mate-guarding behaviour of male Lygaeus equestris seed bugs. We find that, despite previously reported heterospecific mating harassment amongst these species of lygaeid bug, male L. equestris are able to effectively distinguish rival conspecific males from heterospecifics. Thus, heterospecific mating attempts in this group may reflect selection on males to mate opportunistically, rather than a failure of species discrimination.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Mate guarding
  • Reproductive interference
  • Species discrimination
  • Species recognition

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text

Authors

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free