Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 369–373

Fitness consequences of prolonged copulation in the bowl and doily spider

  • R. B. Suter
  • V. S. Parkhill
Article

Summary

Bowl and doily spiders, Frontinella pyramitela (Araneae, Linyphiidae), copulate much longer than the 15 min required for insemination. This apparently maladaptive behavior has been satisfactorily explained in the literature by invoking hypotheses that involve sperm competition, resistance to predators and parasites, or foraging enhancement. In this study, the fertility, live progeny production, progeny size, female receptivity, and latency to oviposition of bowl and doily spiders were measured and related to copulation duration. Using these data, we were able to eliminate six hypotheses and support a seventh: in this species, longer copulations result in larger hatchlings in the first clutch of eggs produced by the female. Although the correlation between copulation duration and progeny size is positive and significant, much of the variation in progeny size remains unexplained, and the reason for the variability in copulation durations remains obscure.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Austad SN (1982) First male sperm priority in the bowl and doily spider, Frontinella pyramitela (Walckenaer). Evolution 36:777–785Google Scholar
  2. Austad SN (1983) A game theoretical interpretation of male combat in the bowl and doily spider (Frontinella pyramitela). Anim Behav 31:59–73Google Scholar
  3. Austad SN (1984) The evolution of sperm priority patterns in the spiders. In: Smith RL (ed) Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems. Academic Press, Orlando, pp 223–249Google Scholar
  4. Clark SJ (1987) Prolonged copulation in the water strider Gerris remigis and a model of the evolution of sperm competition avoidance mechanisms Doctoral Thesis, The Rockefeller University, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark SJ (1988) The effects of operational sex ratio and food deprivation on copulation duration in the water strider (Gerris remigis Say). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 23:317–322Google Scholar
  6. Dickinson JL (1986) Prolonged mating in the milkweed leaf beetle Labidomera clivicollis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae): a test of the “sperm-loading” hypothesis. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 18: 331–338Google Scholar
  7. Friedel T, Gillot C (1976) Male accessory gland substance of Melanoplus sanguinipes: an oviposition stimulant under the control of the corpus allatum. J Insect Physiol 22:489–495Google Scholar
  8. Friedel T, Gillett C (1977) Contribution of the male produced proteins to vitellogenesis in Melanoplus sanguinipes. J Insect Physiol 23:145–151Google Scholar
  9. Gromko M, Gilbert DG, Richmond RC (1984) Sperm transfer and use in the multiple mating system of Drosophila. In: Smith RL (ed) Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems. Academic Press, Orlando, pp 371–426Google Scholar
  10. Hodge MA (1987) Agonistic interactions between female bowl and doily spiders (Araneae, Linyphiidae): owner biased outcomes. J Arachnol 15:241–247Google Scholar
  11. McLain DK (1980) Female choice and the adaptive significance of prolonged copulation in Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Psyche 87:325–336Google Scholar
  12. McLain DK (1981) Interference competition and mate choice in the soldier beetle, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 9:65–66Google Scholar
  13. Parker GA, Stuart RA (1976) Animal behavior as a strategy optimizer: evolution of resource assessment strategies and optimal emigration thresholds. Am Nat 110:1055–1076Google Scholar
  14. Riemann JG, Moen DO, Thorson BJ (1967) Female monogamy and its control in the housefly, Musca domestica L. J Insect Physiol 13:407–418Google Scholar
  15. Richards AM (1960) Observations on the New Zealand glow-worm Arachnocampa luminosa (Skuse) 1890. Trans R Soc N Z 88:559–574Google Scholar
  16. Smith RL (1984) Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems. Academic Press, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  17. Suter RB (1985) Intersexual competition for food in the bowl and doily spider, Frontinella pyramitela (Linyphiidae). J Arachnol 13:61–70PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Suter RB (1990) Courtship and the assessment of virginity by male bowl and doily spiders. Anim Behav 39:307–313Google Scholar
  19. Suter RB, Keiley M (1984) Agonistic interactions between male Frontinella pyramitela (Araneae, Linyphiidae). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 15:1–7Google Scholar
  20. Suter RB, Parkhill V (1990) Determinants of fecundity in Frontinella pyramitela (Araneae, Linyphiidae). J Arachnol (in press)Google Scholar
  21. Suter RB, Renkes G (1982) Linyphiid spider courtship: releaser and attractant functions of a contact sex pheromone. Anim Behav 30:714–718Google Scholar
  22. Suter RB, Renkes G (1984) The courtship of Frontinella pyramitela (Araneae, Linyphiidae): patterns, vibrations and functions. J Arachnol 12:37–54Google Scholar
  23. Suter RB, Walberer L (1989) Enigmatic cohabitation in bowl and doily spiders, Frontinella pyramitela (Araneae, Linyphiidae). Anim Behav 37:402–409Google Scholar
  24. Thornhill R (1976) Sexual selection and nuptial feeding behavior in Bittacus apicalis (Insecta: Mecoptera). Am Nat 110:529–548Google Scholar
  25. Thornhill R (1984) Alternative hypotheses for traits believed to have evolved by sperm competition. In: Smith RL (ed) Sperm competition and the evolution of animal mating systems. Academic Press, Orlando, pp 151–178Google Scholar
  26. Thornhill R, Alcock J (1983) The evolution of insect mating systems. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  27. Wilcox RS (1984) Male copulatory guarding enhances female foraging in a water strider. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 15:171–174Google Scholar
  28. Yamaoka K, Hirao T (1977) Stimulation of virginal oviposition by male factor and its effect on spontaneous nervous activity in Bombyx mori. J Insect Physiol 23: 57–63Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. Suter
    • 1
  • V. S. Parkhill
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyVassar CollegePoughkeepsieUSA

Personalised recommendations