Data from: Males, but not females, perform strategic mate searching movements between host plants in a leaf beetle with scramble competition polygyny
Muniz, Danilo G.; Baena, Martha L.; Macías-Ordóñez, Rogélio; Machado, Glauco (2019), Data from: Males, but not females, perform strategic mate searching movements between host plants in a leaf beetle with scramble competition polygyny, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.42sp54f
1. Mate searching is assumed to be performed mostly by males, but when females benefit from multiple mating or are under risk of failing to mate, they may also perform mate searching. This is especially important in scramble competition polygynies, in which mate searching is the main mechanism of mate competition. Typically, more mobile individuals are expected to achieve higher mating success because mobility increases their probability of finding mates. 2. If we assume individual movements are mainly explained by mate searching in scramble competition polygynies, we can investigate searching strategies by asking when individuals should leave their location and where they should go. We hypothesize that individuals will leave their locations when mating opportunities are scarce and will seek spatially close sites with better mating opportunities. 3. We tested these hypotheses for males and females of Leptinotarsa undecimlineata, a leaf beetle with scramble competition polygyny in which both sexes are promiscuous. Individuals mate and feed exclusively on Solanum plants, thus individual movements can be described as switches between plants. 4. Females were less likely than males to leave isolated plants, and both males and females moved preferentially to neighbouring plants. Males were more likely to leave when the local number of females was low, and the number of males was high. They moved to plants with more females, a behaviour consistent with a mate searching strategy. Females were more likely to move to plants with fewer males and many females, a behaviour consistent with male harassment avoidance. 5. Strategic movement is widely considered in foraging context, but seldom in a mate searching context. Considering that selection to minimize searching costs, maximize mating success, and minimize harassment may be ubiquitous in nature, we argue that strategic movements by mate searching individuals are likely to occur in many species.