The sexual arms race and phenotypic correlates of mating success in the waterstrider,Aquarius remigis (Hemiptera: Gerridae)
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- Weigensberg, I. & Fairbairn, D.J. J Insect Behav (1996) 9: 307. doi:10.1007/BF02213873
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Intersexual conflicts over mating decisions may have an important impact on the evolution of mating behaviours and strategies and may develop into an arms race between the sexes. In waterstrider species, where intersexual conflict is known to occur, the evolution of male traits that allow them to overcome female reluctance to mate is expected. Reproductively active waterstriders,Aquarius remigis, were videotaped in the laboratory to examine the influence of total body length and front femoral width of males, male: female body size ratio, and female reproductive condition (number of mature eggs) on three variables associated with mating success: duration of the premating struggle, duration of mating, and number of successful matings. None of these behaviors was significantly correlated with the size ratio of the mating pair. However, total body length was negatively correlated with premating struggle duration, male front femoral width was positively correlated with number of successful matings, and number of mature eggs in females was positively correlated with duration of both the premating struggle and the mating itself. The relative influence of male sexual armaments and female choice on the outcome of mating interactions is discussed.