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Male clasping ability, female polymorphism and sexual conflict: fine-scale elytral morphology as a sexually antagonistic adaptation in female diving beetles

Karlsson, Kristina LU ; Kovalev, Alexander; Svensson, Erik LU and Gorb, Stanislav N. (2013) In Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10(86).
Abstract
During sexual conflict, males and females are expected to evolve traits and behaviours with a sexually antagonistic function. Recently, sexually antagonistic coevolution was proposed to occur between male and female diving beetles (Dytiscidae). Male diving beetles possess numerous suction cups on their forelegs whereas females commonly have rough structures on their elytra. These rough structures have been suggested to obstruct adhesion from male suction cups during mating attempts. However, some diving beetle species are dimorphic, where one female morph has a rough elytra and the other has a smooth elytra. Here, we used biomechanics to study the adhesive performance of male suction cups on the female morphs in two diving beetle species:... (More)
During sexual conflict, males and females are expected to evolve traits and behaviours with a sexually antagonistic function. Recently, sexually antagonistic coevolution was proposed to occur between male and female diving beetles (Dytiscidae). Male diving beetles possess numerous suction cups on their forelegs whereas females commonly have rough structures on their elytra. These rough structures have been suggested to obstruct adhesion from male suction cups during mating attempts. However, some diving beetle species are dimorphic, where one female morph has a rough elytra and the other has a smooth elytra. Here, we used biomechanics to study the adhesive performance of male suction cups on the female morphs in two diving beetle species: Dytiscus lapponicus and Graphoderus zonatus. We compared adhesion on the rough and the smooth female morphs to infer the function of the rough elytral modifications. We found that the adhesive force on the rough structures was much lower than on other surfaces. These findings support the suggestion of sexual conflict in diving beetles and a sexually antagonistic function of the rough female structures. In addition, males differed in their adhesive capacity on different female surfaces, indicating a male trade-off between adhering to smooth and rough female morphs. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
adhesion, biomechanics, Dytiscidae, polymorphism, sexually antagonistic, coevolution, sexually antagonistic trait
in
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
volume
10
issue
86
publisher
The Royal Society of Canada
external identifiers
  • wos:000321614300006
  • pmid:23825114
  • scopus:84880837323
ISSN
1742-5662
DOI
10.1098/rsif.2013.0409
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4e06ae46-6a9c-4c4a-982a-d0f803082bf4 (old id 3975372)
date added to LUP
2013-08-21 17:17:57
date last changed
2019-05-14 01:14:41
@article{4e06ae46-6a9c-4c4a-982a-d0f803082bf4,
  abstract     = {During sexual conflict, males and females are expected to evolve traits and behaviours with a sexually antagonistic function. Recently, sexually antagonistic coevolution was proposed to occur between male and female diving beetles (Dytiscidae). Male diving beetles possess numerous suction cups on their forelegs whereas females commonly have rough structures on their elytra. These rough structures have been suggested to obstruct adhesion from male suction cups during mating attempts. However, some diving beetle species are dimorphic, where one female morph has a rough elytra and the other has a smooth elytra. Here, we used biomechanics to study the adhesive performance of male suction cups on the female morphs in two diving beetle species: Dytiscus lapponicus and Graphoderus zonatus. We compared adhesion on the rough and the smooth female morphs to infer the function of the rough elytral modifications. We found that the adhesive force on the rough structures was much lower than on other surfaces. These findings support the suggestion of sexual conflict in diving beetles and a sexually antagonistic function of the rough female structures. In addition, males differed in their adhesive capacity on different female surfaces, indicating a male trade-off between adhering to smooth and rough female morphs.},
  articleno    = {20130409},
  author       = {Karlsson, Kristina and Kovalev, Alexander and Svensson, Erik and Gorb, Stanislav N.},
  issn         = {1742-5662},
  keyword      = {adhesion,biomechanics,Dytiscidae,polymorphism,sexually antagonistic,coevolution,sexually antagonistic trait},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {86},
  publisher    = {The Royal Society of Canada},
  series       = {Journal of the Royal Society Interface},
  title        = {Male clasping ability, female polymorphism and sexual conflict: fine-scale elytral morphology as a sexually antagonistic adaptation in female diving beetles},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2013.0409},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2013},
}