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J Insect Physiol. 2007 Oct;53(10):994-9. Epub 2007 May 18.

Selection in the absence of males does not affect male-female conflict in the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina clavipes (Hymenoptera: Figitidae).

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  • 1Section Animal Ecology, Institute of Biology Leiden, University of Leiden, 2300 RA, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Divergent reproductive interests of males and females can lead to sexually antagonistic coevolution (SAC). In the absence of males, adaptations evolved under SAC are released from selection and expected to deteriorate. In this study, we investigated this prediction using two populations of the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina clavipes, one arrhenotokous and one thelytokous. Thelytokous females were induced to produce sons by curing them of their Wolbachia-infection. We examined whether thelytokous males were less able to inhibit female remating than arrhenotokous males and whether thelytokous females were more susceptible to male-induced longevity reduction than arrhenotokous females. The results showed that females were monandrous, regardless of whether mated with an arrhenotokous or thelytokous male. While ongoing courtship of males reduced female life span, there was no longevity cost of mating for either arrhenotokous or thelytokous females. Our results therefore do not support the idea that adaptations evolved under SAC deteriorate under prolonged female-only selection.

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