Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 27–37 | Cite as

Personalities and presence of hyperaggressive males influence male mating exclusivity and effective mating in stream water striders

  • Tina W. Wey
  • Ann T. Chang
  • Sean Fogarty
  • Andrew Sih
Original Paper


Male expected reproductive success can be enhanced by increased mating success (mate number) or, when females can mate multiply, by increased mating exclusivity (i.e., reduced partner promiscuity). A positive or negative covariance between these two mating outcomes could substantially increase or decrease overall variation in male expected reproductive success, yet the relationship between these mating outcomes is relatively understudied. We examined this relationship and the influence of male personality traits, female personality traits, and the social environment on mating outcomes in stream water striders, Aquarius remigis, at two experimental sex ratios: equal and 2:1 male-biased. To our knowledge, this study is the first to quantify this full set of effects. We found that mating frequency (mating success) and mating exclusivity were positively correlated in the male-biased treatment, but were not related at equal sex ratios. At both sex ratios, males that were more active and aggressive had both higher mating frequency and higher mating exclusivity. A male’s effective mating (the product of mating frequency and mating exclusivity) was also higher if on average he mated with females that tended to hide in refuges (and were presumably less available for future matings). Finally, males that were more often in pools with extremely aggressive (“hyperaggressive”) males actually had increased mating exclusivity, potentially because hyperaggression reduced average female promiscuity. This study highlights the importance of considering mating outcomes beyond mating success and examining the simultaneous contribution of male behaviours, female behaviours and social factors to mating dynamics.


Aquarius remigis Mating exclusivity Effective mating Female promiscuity 



This work was funded by a National Science Foundation research grant (IOS 0952132, to A.S.), a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in biology (DBI-1003282, to T.W.W.) and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (to A.T.C.). We thank James F. A. Traniello, Nina Wedell, Karoline Fritzsche and an anonymous reviewer for constructive feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank many student research assistants for data collection and entry, and David J. Harris and Pierre-Olivier Montiglio for their help with statistical analyses.

Ethical standards

All experiments comply with the current laws of the USA.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tina W. Wey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ann T. Chang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Sean Fogarty
    • 1
    • 4
  • Andrew Sih
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California at DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Biology DepartmentNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  3. 3.Museum of Vertebrate ZoologyUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Princeton University, Guyot HallPrincetonUSA

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