, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 153–158 | Cite as

Why do males emerge before females?

A hypothesis to explain the incidence of protandry in butterflies
  • Christer Wiklund
  • Torbjörn Fagerström


In butterflies and many other insects there is a general tendency for males to emerge before females. This is known as protandry. In this paper we advance the hypothesis that protandry is a reproductive strategy of males, resulting from competition for mates, and should primarily occur in species maintaining female monogamy. Our hypothesis is corroborated by applying a mathematical treatment to a theoretical population with seven defined properties, all of which are argued to be reasonable assumptions for natural populations.


Natural Population General Tendency Reasonable Assumption Reproductive Strategy Mathematical Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christer Wiklund
    • 1
  • Torbjörn Fagerström
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Swedish Coniferous Forest ProjectUppsalaSweden

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