Effect of losing on male fights of broad-horned flour beetle,Gnatocerus cornutus

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Experience-dependent tactics of males trying to gain access to females were examined in the beetle Gnatocerus cornutus, which engages in male-male fighting for mates. In male fights, subsequent behavior is modified by winning and losing experiences. Males, therefore, may choose between several behavioral tactics to obtain a mate, based on his previous fighting experience. In G. cornutus, we examined for how long aggressive behaviors were modified by experiences of winning or losing, i.e., the duration of the prior experience effect. Losing decreased a male's frequency of fighting for 4 days, and few defeated males fought any male regardless of the opponent's size. By the fifth day, this effect disappeared. No modulation of male behavior due to winning was observed. Furthermore, the experience of losing not only decreased a male's aggressiveness but also switched the male behavior from fighting to dispersal from the fight site to another site. In future, it is necessary to clarify why the optimal term of the losing experience is 4 days in this beetle.

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