Intrasexual Competition and Mating Behavior in Ptomascopus morio (Coleoptera: Silphidae Nicrophorinae)


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Abstract

In nicrophorine beetles, genus Nicrophorus care their larva using small vertebrate carrion, whereas genus Ptomaucopus reproduce with small vertebrate carrion but show no parental care. Aggression and sexual behavior were examined in Ptomascopusmorio and Nicrophorus quadripunctatus. Nicrophorus quadripunctatus had intense female–female as well as male–male contests. In Ptomascopus morio, by contrast, female–female aggression was rarely observed. Male–male aggression (pushing, biting, male–male mounting) in Ptomascopus morio was observed when a resource for breeding was present, whether or not a female was present. The lack of female–female aggression, and male–male aggression when resources but not females are present, suggest that the mating system of Ptomascopus morio is resource defense polygyny. Large males of Ptomascopus morio were also found to exhibit mate choice, preferring large females over small females.

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