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Impacts of Environmental Heterogeneity on Alternative Mating Tactics in the Threadtail Damselfly

Brenda Larison
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 63, No. 4 (Feb., 2009), pp. 531-536
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40295352
Page Count: 6
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Impacts of Environmental Heterogeneity on Alternative Mating Tactics in the Threadtail Damselfly
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Abstract

Environmental heterogeneity, including variation in the physical environment, may be key to understanding the evolution and maintenance of alternative mating tactics, but its influence is rarely examined. Males of the threadtail damselfly Protoneura amatoria reversibly use two alternative mating tactics (perching vs. hovering) and have previously been found to modulate their use of these tactics in response to variation in both light conditions and the density of ovipositing females. Here, I show that mating success payoffs of the two tactics are differentially influenced by these factors. The payoff of the perching tactic was greater than that of the hovering tactic under low light conditions and at low densities of ovipositing females. The payoff of the hovering tactic was greater under high light conditions and higher densities of ovipositing females. The differential success of the two mating tactics in response to light conditions is discussed in light of flight dynamics, vision, and predation.

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