Horn Length Is the Determining Factor in the Outcomes of Escalated Fights Among Male Japanese Horned Beetles, Allomyrina dichotoma L. (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae)


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Abstract

Male horn length in some horned beetles shows a sigmoidal relationship with body size. This has often been considered as the reflection of alternative reproductive tactics of males based on body size. Large males should possess long horns to acquire females through fights with other males using their horns, whereas small males do not require long horns because they usually avoid intermale fights and adopt alternative tactics such as sneaking. This may lead to a prediction that horn length is a reliable indicator of the fighting ability of the male. We examined the effects of both male horn length and body size of Allomyrina dichotoma on the outcomes of escalated fights. Results indicate that male horn length was more important than body size in predicting the outcomes of fight, and this may support the hypothesis that the evolution of the horn dimorphism in male horned beetles is the result of different reproductive tactics.

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