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Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 1433–1440 | Cite as

A longevity cost of re-mating but no benefits of polyandry in the almond moth, Cadra cautella

  • Kathryn B. McNamara
  • Mark A. Elgar
  • Therésa M. Jones
Original Paper

Abstract

Species where most but not all females mate monandrously can provide insight into the potential factors both promoting and restricting polyandry. Polyandry is typically explained by direct and/or indirect benefits models; however, polyandry may also confer costs via sexually antagonistic processes. The fitness of polyandrous and monandrous females may also vary with environmental conditions, such as availability of water. For some lepidopterans, water is a vital resource that increases fecundity and may be a direct benefit of multiple mating. Male lepidopterans transfer large spermatophores that may be an important water source for females, particularly for species living in water-depauperate environments. In such species, multiple-mating females may increase their reproductive output. We examined the fitness consequences of multiple mating in the almond moth, Cadra cautella. Males transfer substantial spermatophores; these have a large chitinous process attached, which decrease female longevity. To assess the impact of female mating treatment and water availability on female fitness, females mated once or twice, either with the same or different males, with half the females in each treatment receiving water. Water-fed females had dramatically increased fecundity, but we found no fitness benefits of multiple mating. Male longevity decreased with increased mating frequency and potentially his level of reproductive investment. Water-deprived females that mated twice died sooner than once-mated females, while multiple-mating females that received water lived longer than their water-deprived counterparts. It is interesting to note that the male’s spermatophore process did not affect female fitness or longevity. Why polyandry is maintained in this species is discussed.

Keywords

Water Sexual conflict Life history 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Alana Danne, Fiona Downs and Elizabeth Sim for their help in data collection and the Stored Grain Research Laboratory at the CSIRO for providing us with the moth culture. TMJ was funded by the Australian Research Council (DP0558265).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn B. McNamara
    • 1
  • Mark A. Elgar
    • 1
  • Therésa M. Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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