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Data from: Rearing temperature influences adult response to changes in mating status

Citation

Westerman, Erica L.; Monteiro, Antónia; Westerman, Erica (2016), Data from: Rearing temperature influences adult response to changes in mating status, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2317q

Abstract

Rearing environment can have an impact on adult behavior, but it is less clear how rearing environment influences adult behavior plasticity. Here we explore the effect of rearing temperature on adult mating behavior plasticity in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, a species that has evolved two seasonal forms in response to seasonal changes in temperature. These seasonal forms differ in both morphology and behavior. Females are the choosy sex in cohorts reared at warm temperatures (WS butterflies), and males are the choosy sex in cohorts reared at cooler temperatures (DS butterflies). Rearing temperature also influences mating benefits and costs. In DS butterflies, mated females live longer than virgin females, and mated males live shorter than virgin males. No such benefits or costs to mating are present in WS butterflies. Given that choosiness and mating costs are rearing temperature dependent in B. anynana, we hypothesized that temperature may also impact male and female incentives to remate in the event that benefits and costs of second matings are similar to those of first matings. We first examined whether lifespan was affected by number of matings. We found that two matings did not significantly increase lifespan for either WS or DS butterflies relative to single matings. However, both sexes of WS but not DS butterflies experienced decreased longevity when mated to a non-virgin relative to a virgin. We next observed pairs of WS and DS butterflies and documented changes in mating behavior in response to changes in the mating status of their partner. WS but not DS butterflies changed their mating behavior in response to the mating status of their partner. These results suggest that rearing temperature influences adult mating behavior plasticity in B. anynana. This developmentally controlled behavioral plasticity may be adaptive, as lifespan depends on the partner’s mating status in one seasonal form, but not in the other.

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