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Data from: Sexually selected weapons can wear out, decreasing their effectiveness in combat

Cite this dataset

McEvoy, Isaac; Daniels, Lana; Emberts, Zachary (2024). Data from: Sexually selected weapons can wear out, decreasing their effectiveness in combat [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.37pvmcvtn

Abstract

Sexual selection has resulted in some of the most elaborate traits seen in animals, many of which are used as weapons. These weapons can be incredibly diverse, even within species. Such morphological variation has largely been attributed to the environment in which individuals are reared and their genetics. However, variation in weapon form could also be the result of a weapon wearing out from usage. This mechanism has received relatively little attention. In this study, we demonstrate that sexually selected weapons can wear out from repeated use, providing experimental evidence that weapon usage can contribute to the diversity of weapon shapes observed within species. In a second experiment, we demonstrate that having a worn-out weapon decreases an individual’s fighting ability. This finding illustrates that the shape of a weapon can have an important role in determining contest outcomes. Overall, these results suggest that individuals are limited in the number of times they can effectively use their weapons, which may be one factor (amongst others) influencing how frequently an animal engages in a fight.

README: Sexually selected weapons can wear out, decreasing their effectiveness in combat

https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.37pvmcvtn

There are three datasets (Data.S1.xlsx, Data.S2.xlsx, and Data.S3.xlsx) and one R code (R.code.R) file associate with this manuscript. 

Description of the data and file structure

Data.S1

ID Identification number
PW Pronotal width in mm
Season whether the individual was collected early in a season (June/July) or late in a season (August)
Radius.1 first measurement for radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Radius.2 second measurement for radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Radius.3 third measurement for radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Radius average radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Wing.punctures whether the forewings have fighting-related punctures on their wings (1=Yes, 0=No)

Data.S2

ID Identification number
PW Pronotal width in mm
Strikes number of simulated strikes
Radius.1 first measurement for radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Radius.2 second measurement for radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Radius.3 third measurement for radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm
Radius average radius of the curvature of the tibial spine tip in mm

Data.S3

Focal.ID Identification number for focal male
Focal.mass Mass of focal male in grams
Focal.FW Femur width of the focal males right hind leg in mm
Focal.Radius.1 first measurement for radius of the curvature of the focal tibial spine tip in mm
Focal.Radius.2 second measurement for radius of the curvature of the focal tibial spine tip in mm
Focal.Radius.3 third measurement for radius of the curvature of the focal tibial spine tip in mm
Focal.Radius average radius of the curvature of the focal tibial spine tip in mm
Treatment Treatment that the focal male was randomly assigned
Rival.ID Identification number for rival male
Rival.mass Mass of rival male in grams
Rival.FW Femur width of the rival males right hind leg in mm
Rival.Radius.1 first measurement for radius of the curvature of the rival tibial spine tip in mm
Rival.Radius.2 second measurement for radius of the curvature of the rival tibial spine tip in mm
Rival.Radius.3 third measurement for radius of the curvature of the rival tibial spine tip in mm
Rival.Radius average radius of the curvature of the rival tibial spine tip in mm
Relative.difference.mass Relative difference in mass between focal and rival male
Size.similarity.mass Absolute values of the relative difference in mass between focal and rival male
Relative.difference.FW Relative difference in femur width between focal and rival male
Size.similarity.FW Absolute values of the relative difference in femur width between focal and rival male
Relative.difference.radius Relative difference in the radius of the curvature of the tibial spine between focal and rival male
Size.similarity.radius Absolute values of the relative difference in the radius of the curvature of the tibial spine between focal and rival male
Interaction.binary Whether or not there were any fighting interactions (1=Yes, 0=No)
Rival.Interactions Total number of fighting interactions the rival engaged in
Focal.Interactions Total number of fighting interactions the focal engaged in
Focal.Win Whether the focal male was dominant (1=Yes, 0=No). Empty cell indicates there was no clear winner. 
Clear.Focal.Strike Whether the focal male clearly used their tibial spine to strike its rival (1=Yes, 0=No)
Time Time, in hours, that the behavioral trial started 
Temperature Air temperature in C at the start of the behavioral trial