, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 164–166 | Cite as

Why do males emerge before females? protandry as a mating strategy in male and female butterflies

  • Torbjörn Fagerström
  • Christer Wiklund


The reproductive strategy of butterfly males can be defined as being to maximize the number of females mated. We have earlier shown that, if the eclosion period of females is regarded as given, males should emerge before females to achieve maximal reproductive success. However, females may also be considered to have a reproductive strategy with respect to the issue “when to emerge”. In this paper we assume that females are selected to minimize the time spent unmated (to minimize prereproductive death), and analyze when females should optimally emerge in relation to males to achieve this end. We show that there is no conflict between the sexes with respect to the timing of eclosion when the length of the eclosion period is approximately equal for males and females. Thus, protandry should be considered a reproductive strategy of both males and females.


Reproductive Success Reproductive Strategy Mating Strategy Female Butterfly Butterfly Male 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torbjörn Fagerström
    • 1
  • Christer Wiklund
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of StockholmStockholmSweden

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