Abraham S.,Laboratorio Of Investigaciones Ecoetologicas Of Moscas Of La Fruta Y Sus Enemigos Naturales Liemen |
Abraham S.,CONICET |
Vera M.T.,CONICET |
Perez-Staples D.,University of Veracruz
Ethology | Year: 2015
Sperm competition (SC) occurs when the sperm of two or more males compete for the same set of ova. Theoretical models and experimental observations indicate that the presence of rival males causes focal males to adjust sperm allocation in a given copulation. Males allocate more sperm when they perceive the presence of one rival male (SC risk), either before or during mating, or when they perceive the presence of multiple rival males before mating (previous SC intensity). Conversely, males are expected to allocate fewer sperm when they perceive the presence of rival males during mating (current SC intensity). Here, we varied male perception of SC by manipulating the number of rival males, both before mating (from emergence to mating) and during mating (at the time of mating) to examine their effects on mating latency, copulation duration, and sperm allocation in the South American fruit fly Anastrepha fraterculus. We showed that exposure to rival males at the time of mating decreased mating latency. However, in contrast to the theory, exposure to multiple rivals at the time of mating increased sperm allocation. Female and male size were significant predictors of mating latency, copulation duration, and sperm allocation. Our results showed that there is a plastic response of males to the level of perceived SC through the number of rival males. Current levels of SC intensity are important in shaping male responses to SC, although the patterns in this species are opposite to predictions from the existing theory. We propose that female preference for males forming leks could explain lower sperm counts when encountering only one or two males. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.