Population differences in the strength of sexual selection match relative weapon size in the Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)†

Jillian F. del Sol, Yoshihito Hongo, Romain P. Boisseau, Gabriella H. Berman, Cerisse E. Allen, Douglas J. Emlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Exaggerated weapons of sexual selection often diverge more rapidly and dramatically than other body parts, suggesting that relevant agents of selection may be discernible in contemporary populations. We examined the ecology, reproductive behavior, and strength of sexual selection on horn length in five recently diverged rhinoceros beetle (Trypoxylus dichotomus) populations that differ in relative horn size. Males with longer horns were better at winning fights in all locations, but the link between winning fights and mating success differed such that selection favored large males with long horns at the two long-horned populations, but was relaxed or nonexistent at the populations with relatively shorter horns. Observations of local habitat conditions and breeding ecology point to shifts in the relative abundance of feeding territories as the most likely cause of population differences in selection on male weapon size in this species. Comparisons of ecological conditions and selection strength across populations offer critical first steps toward meaningfully linking mating system dynamics, selection patterns, and diversity in sexually selected traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-413
Number of pages20
JournalEvolution
Volume75
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • animal weapons
  • male competition
  • mating systems
  • resource defense
  • sexual selection

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Population differences in the strength of sexual selection match relative weapon size in the Japanese rhinoceros beetle, Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)†'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this