During copulation, males of the alfalfa butterfly, Colias eurytheme, transfer nutrients and sperm to the female. Recently mated males produce only about 40% of the quantity of material produced by males that have not recently mated (Rutowski and Gilchrist 1986). In this study, females that mated with recently mated males died sooner, had a lower lifetime egg output, and laid fewer eggs per day overall, but especially during the first 2 days after mating. We conclude that the effect of the materials (nutrients and sperm) passed by males at copulation on female oviposition and receptivity is such that the male's genetic return from nutrients passed is maximized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology