University of Oulu

Anna-Maria Borshagovski, Gautier Baudry, Juhani Hopkins, Arja Kaitala, Pale by comparison: competitive interactions between signaling female glow-worms, Behavioral Ecology, Volume 30, Issue 1, January/February 2019, Pages 20–26, https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary161

Pale by comparison : competitive interactions between signaling female glow-worms

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Author: Borshagovski, Anna-Maria1; Baudry, Gautier1; Hopkins, Juhani1;
Organizations: 1Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2020091069241
Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-09-10
Description:

Abstract

When individuals differ in their abilities to compete for a mate, weaker competitors may evolve tactics to increase their mating success. Exploiting attractiveness of others to get mates is a common tactic in many taxa, although examples of this behavior in females are scarce. In glow-worms (Lampyris noctiluca L., Coleoptera: Lampyridae), females attract males by glowing and males prefer the brightest female. How unattractive females succeed in competition for mates is largely understudied. We hypothesize that less attractive female glow-worms may succeed in competition over mates by parasitizing glow of more attractive competitors. We tested our hypothesis with a combination of field and laboratory experiments. Contrary to our expectations, we found that females move away from brighter competitors. This behavior may explain our field observation that females are often more than 1 m apart from each other. Increasing distance to a brighter female may make comparison on brightness difficult for males and increase attractiveness of dimmer females. Our study provides evidence of behavior by which less attractive competitors may actively avoid competition and therefore affect female distribution in nature. This behavior may explain maintenance of variation in attractiveness of sexual signals, even in species where mates are selected by ornaments. We conclude that sexual competition may play a crucial role in spatial distribution. Spatial distribution of competing sex affects choosing individuals’ ability to compare mates and thus affects mate choice.

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Series: Behavioral ecology
ISSN: 1045-2249
ISSN-E: 1465-7279
ISSN-L: 1045-2249
Volume: 30
Issue: 1
Pages: 20 - 26
DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ary161
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary161
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Subjects:
Funding: This work was supported by Academy of Finland (grant number 294664 to A.K. and A.M.B.)
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 294664
Detailed Information: 294664 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Behavioral Ecology following peer review. The version of record Anna-Maria Borshagovski, Gautier Baudry, Juhani Hopkins, Arja Kaitala, Pale by comparison: competitive interactions between signaling female glow-worms, Behavioral Ecology, Volume 30, Issue 1, January/February 2019, Pages 20–26 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/ary161.