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Journal Article

Sexual Selection in the Lovebug, Plecia Nearctica: The Role of Male Choice

Craig S. Hieber and James A. Cohen
Evolution
Vol. 37, No. 5 (Sep., 1983), pp. 987-992
DOI: 10.2307/2408412
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2408412
Page Count: 6
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Sexual Selection in the Lovebug, Plecia Nearctica: The Role of Male Choice
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Abstract

Most previous studies of sexual selection have focused on the mechanisms of intrasexual (male) competition and female choice. However, recent work has suggested that, under some conditions, there may be selection for males to allocate their reproductive effort prudently. In Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae), most males mate only once, a characteristic which may promote the evolution of such male choice. We found that copulating males were significantly heavier, but no larger, than solitary males. This could result from either male competition or female choice. Copulating females were both larger and heavier than virgin females. This supports the hypothesis that males exercise mate choice, preferring larger females, which are known to contain more eggs, over smaller ones. Contrary to previous studies, assortative mating does occur for body size and weight.

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