Size Effects on Mating and Egg Production in the Miami Blue Butterfly
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Body size is often related to reproductive success in insects, but the direction and strength of this relationship differs greatly among systems. We studied the effects of adult size on probability of mating and egg production in the Miami blue butterfly. We found that likelihood of mating was invariant with respect to size. Larger females lived longer, and both size and lifespan positively influenced egg production. However, neither the number of copulations nor the size of male mates had any effect on female fecundity. We discuss these results in the context of butterfly mating systems, larval growth strategies and the possible effects of captive conditions on reproductive behavior.
KeywordsCyclargus thomasi bethunebakeri mating system Miami blue butterfly potential fecundity reproduction
We thank Bret Boyd and Matt Standridge for assistance with maintaining the captive colony and performing the experiments. We thanks the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, E.O. Dunn Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for funding; additionally, M.D. Trager was funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Research for this study was conducted under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission permit WX02525f. We thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on a previous version of this paper.
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