Chapter

Mating Strategies in Isopods

Veijo Jormalainen

in Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual Systems

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780195179927
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179927.003.0008
 Mating Strategies in Isopods

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Isopods show a wide range in mating systems. Mate guarding by males before copulation occurs commonly in most free-living taxa, with the notable exception of the terrestrial Oniscidea. Such guarding prior to copulation is interpreted as a male mate monopolization strategy, evolved as a response to short female receptivity to copulation. Males are able to assess female maturity and to adjust guarding duration accordingly; relatively long guarding duration is often optimal for males. Guarding has no known benefits for females. Moreover, guarding is likely to impose costs for females, thus leading to a sexual conflict. Experimental studies suggest that conflicts over the start of guarding generate sexual selection for traits related to obtaining or resisting mates, as well as for traits related to cryptic female choice. Isopod mating systems can be used to clarify the roles played by traditional female choice and intersexual conflicts in sexual selection.

Keywords: mating systems; sexual conflict; guarding; trait evolution; sexual selection; female choice

Chapter.  11279 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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