When it comes to finding a mate, size doesnt matter for armed beetles

March 28th, 2008 - 2:22 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Mar 28 (ANI): When it comes to finding a mate, size doesnt really play much of a role for one species of armed beetle, says a new study.

In armed beetles world, biggest is usually best, as males often fight for mating rights and those with the largest jaws beat off the competition. However, this is not always the case with one particular species.

According to researchers at Okayama University in Japan, who have been monitoring the mating habits of large, medium and small Librodor japonicus males, found that this particular species adopts a different tactic to finding a mate depending on the size of certain body parts.

The largest male beetles wait for females at the feeding areas and fight for the right to mate the males with the biggest jaws stand the best chance of winning.

The medium sized beetles which are too small to beat the bigger males have developed relatively bigger wings than their larger counterparts, and they use these to search for the feeding sites which are unoccupied by large males.

The smallest male beetles have adopted a completely different tactic they stay at the feeding sites with the big males, and attempt sneaky matings with females behind the bigger males backs. Whats more, these males have relatively larger testes and produce sperm that is more competitive than the bigger males.

The L. japonicus beetles have ensured that, through their size-determined mating tactics, they all have a chance of finding a mate, and sometimes with no fighting involved.

“Although other studies of armed beetles have observed 2 different sizes of males, we have shown that males can adopt up to three different behavioural tactics to improve their mating success, said researcher Takahisa Miyatake.

The study is published in Royal Entomological Societys Ecological Entomology journal. (ANI)

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