Data from: Sperm morph and remating frequency in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella
Thorburn, Doko-Miles J.; Knell, Robert J.; Parrett, Jonathan M. (2018), Data from: Sperm morph and remating frequency in the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sb6sd80
All Lepidoptera produce two sperm types: normal, nucleated ‘eupyrene’ sperm and anucleate ‘apyrene’ sperm. One hypothesis for the evolution of apyrene sperm suggests that they act to reduce female remating rate. Apyrene sperm require less resources to produce than do eupyrene sperm, and could delay remating by females by acting as a “cheap filler”, packing the spermatheca and thereby reducing receptivity. This would reduce the risk of sperm competition, giving a potential adaptive advantage to the male producing these sperm. This leads to the prediction that the probability of a female remating should correlate with the number of stored apyrene sperm, which has previously been supported by experiments using the Green-Veined White butterfly, Pieris napi. We repeated this experiment using the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella. We find that in this species eupyrene, not apyrene sperm number is the best predictor of female remating probability, indicating that the “cheap filler” hypothesis for the function of apyrene sperm is not well supported for this species.