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Copulatory Behavior, Genital Morphology, and Male Fertilization Success in Water Striders

Goran Arnqvist and Ingela Danielsson
Evolution
Vol. 53, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 147-156
DOI: 10.2307/2640927
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640927
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Copulatory Behavior, Genital Morphology, and Male Fertilization Success in Water Striders
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Abstract

Recent theoretical and empirical interest in postmating processes have generated a need for increasing our understanding of the sources of variance in fertilization success among males. Of particular importance is whether such postmating sexual selection merely reinforces the effects of premating sexual selection or whether other types of male traits are involved. In the current study, we document large intraspecific variation in last male sperm precedence in the water strider Gerris lateralis. Male relative paternity success was repeatable across replicate females, showing that males differ consistently in their ability to achieve fertilizations. By analyzing shape variation in male genital morphology, we were able to demonstrate that the shape of male intromittent genitalia was related to relative paternity success. This is the first direct experimental support for the suggestion that male genitalia evolve by postmating sexual selection. A detailed analysis revealed that different components of male genitalia had different effects, some affecting male ability to achieve sperm precedence and others affecting male ability to avoid sperm precedence by subsequent males. Further, the effects of the shape of the male genitalia on paternity success was in part dependent on female morphology, suggesting that selection on male genitalia will depend on the frequency distribution of female phenotypes. We failed to find any effects of other morphological traits, such as male body size or the degree of asymmetry in leg length, on fertilization success. Although males differed consistently in their copulatory behavior, copulation duration was the only behavioral trait that had any significant effect on paternity.

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