Send to

Choose Destination
Ecol Lett. 2014 Jul;17(7):803-10. doi: 10.1111/ele.12284. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Correlated evolution in parental care in females but not males in response to selection on paternity assurance behaviour.

Author information

Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, TR10 9EZ, United Kingdom.


According to classical parental care theory males are expected to provide less parental care when offspring in a brood are less likely to be their own, but empirical evidence in support of this relationship is equivocal. Recent work predicts that social interactions between the sexes can modify co-evolution between traits involved in mating and parental care as a result of costs associated with these social interactions (i.e. sexual conflict). In burying beetles (Nicrophorus vespilloides), we use artificial selection on a paternity assurance trait, and crosses within and between selection lines, to show that selection acting on females, not males, can drive the co-evolution of paternity assurance traits and parental care. Males do not care more in response to selection on mating rate. Instead, patterns of parental care change as an indirect response to costs of mating for females.


Nicrophorus vespilloides; Parental care; artificial selection; co-evolution; sexual conflict

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center