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Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 599–612 | Cite as

Mate choice and competition in the barklouseLepinotus patruelis (Psocoptera: Trogiidae): The effect of diet quality and sex ratio

  • Judy Wearing-Wilde
Article

Abstract

Courtship varies among individuals, partly because individuals differ in quality. To explore proximate factors affecting courtship behavior, I investigated the effect of diet quality on mate choice and competition in the barklouseLepinotus patruelis Pearman (Psocoptera: Trogiidae) in the laboratory. The effect of sex ratio on mate choice was also addressed. Some males were found to exhibit active mate choice, and rejected females in both male- and female-biased sex ratio groups, although they were more likely to do so in a female-biased sex ratio group. Diet quality affected male mate choice: males on high-quality diets were significantly more likely to reject females than males on low-quality diets. Males exhibited choice significantly more often than females, who showed no overt signs of choosiness. Both males and females competed for, access to mates: both sexes attempted to interfere with mounted pairs and females grappled. The choosiness of the male may have directly affected the incidence of female competition. The results also suggest that the patterns of mate choice inL. patruelis differ from those expected by conventional sex role theory.

Key Words

male choice female competition courtship roles operational sex ratio Psocoptera 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judy Wearing-Wilde
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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