University of Oulu

Baudry, G., Hopkins, J., Watts, P.C. et al. Female Sexual Signaling in a Capital Breeder, the European Glow-Worm Lampyris noctiluca. J Insect Behav 34, 16–25 (2021).

Female sexual signaling in a capital breeder, the European glow-worm Lampyris noctiluca

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Author: Baudry, Gautier1; Hopkins, Juhani1; Watts, Phillip C.2;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, PO Box 3000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, 40014, Jyväskylä, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-16


Theory predicts that because costs constrain female sexual signaling, females are expected to have a low signaling effort that is increased with passing time until mating is secured. This pattern of signaling is expected to result from females balancing the costs associated with a higher than optimal signaling effort and those costs associated with a low signaling effort that increase the likelihood of delayed mating. We tested whether this prediction applies in the common glow-worm Lampyris noctiluca (Coleoptera, Lampyridae), a capital breeding species in which females glow at night to attract males. Contrary to predictions, we found that the duration of female sexual signaling significantly decreased with time. Moreover, when females experienced multiple light/dark cycles within 24 h, both signaling duration and intensity significantly decreased. These results imply that females attempt to signal as much as possible at first, with the decrease in signaling duration and intensity likely being due to female resource depletion. Because in capital breeding females the costs of a delayed mating are likely greater than the costs of sexual signaling, females should mate as soon as possible and thus always invest into signaling as much as possible.

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Series: Journal of insect behavior
ISSN: 0892-7553
ISSN-E: 1572-8889
ISSN-L: 0892-7553
Volume: 34
Issue: 1-2
Pages: 16 - 25
DOI: 10.1007/s10905-020-09763-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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