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Adult Nutrition Affects Male Virility in Papilio glaucus L.

R. C. Lederhouse, M. P. Ayres and J. M. Scriber
Functional Ecology
Vol. 4, No. 6 (1990), pp. 743-751
DOI: 10.2307/2389441
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2389441
Page Count: 9
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Adult Nutrition Affects Male Virility in Papilio glaucus L.
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Abstract

As adults many male Lepidoptera are known to supplement their nectar diet by feeding at puddle margins or on damp soil, sometimes in the vicinity of carrion or faeces. Although sodium ions prolong this behaviour, and may directly enhance reproductive success, it is unclear whether sodium ions alone are being sought or whether other nutrients such as amino acids are also important. Newly emerged laboratory-reared males of the tiger swallowtail butterfly. Papilio glaucus L. (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae), were allocated to four adult diets: dilute honey-water (20% by weight); honey solution supplemented with electrolytes (lepidopteran Ringer's); honey solution supplemented with amino acids (0.5% casein hydrolysate); or honey solution supplemented with electrolytes and amino acids. We attempted to hand-pair males after 2 days of feeding and then at 2-day intervals to a maximum of four pairings. Males of both electrolyte treatments were more likely to couple than honey-water controls. Males receiving electrolytes plus amino acids produced seven times more hatching larvae than control males. This was chiefly attributable to improved number and success of matings subsequent to the first mating. Spermatophore size was correlated with male pupal mass for the first adult mating; diet affected the size of second and later spermatophores. Male diet had little effect on the longevity of males or their mates.

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