Skip to main content

Social network position experiences more variable selection than weaponry in wild subpopulations of forked fungus beetles

Cite this dataset

Formica, Vincent et al. (2020). Social network position experiences more variable selection than weaponry in wild subpopulations of forked fungus beetles [Dataset]. Dryad.


1. The phenotypic expression and fitness consequences of behaviors that are exhibited during social interactions are especially sensitive to their local social context. This context-dependence is expected to generate more variation in the sign and magnitude of selection on social behavior than that experienced by static characters like morphology. Relatively few studies, however, have examined selection on behavioral traits in multiple populations. 2. We estimated sexual selection in the wild to determine if the strength and form of selection on social phenotypes is more variable than that on morphology. 3. We compared selection gradients on social network position, body size, and weaponry of male forked fungus beetles (Bolitotherus cornutus) as they influenced mating success across nine natural subpopulations. 4. Male horn length consistently experienced positive sexual selection. However, the sign and magnitude of selection on individual measures of network centrality (strength and betweenness) differed significantly among subpopulations. Moreover, selection on social behaviors occurred at local scale (“soft selection”), whereas selection on horn length occurred at the metapopulation scale (“hard selection”). 5. These results indicate that an individual with a given social phenotype could experience different fitness consequences depending on the network it occupies. While individuals seem to be unable to escape the fitness effects of their morphology, they may have the potential to mediate the pressures of selection on behavioral phenotypes by moving among subpopulations or altering social connections within a network.


The data were collected as described in the methods of the paper.  In summary, behavioral interactions were recorded if individuals were within 5 cm of each other, those data were then turned into an association matrix, the simple ratio index was then calcualted based on the observations.  Using the SRI data, social networks were created for each subpopulation.  The uploaded data set is the attribute file with calculated social network metrics (strength, betweeness, and clustering coefficent), fitness measures (number of succesful inseminations, and morphological traits (honrs and elytra size).


National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1355029

National Science Foundation, Award: IOS-1355003

National Science Foundation, Award: DEB-1911485