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Data from: Is diversification in male reproductive traits driven by evolutionary trade-offs between weapons and nuptial gifts?

Citation

Liu, Xingyue; Hayashi, Fumio; Lavine, Laura Corley; Yang, Ding (2015), Data from: Is diversification in male reproductive traits driven by evolutionary trade-offs between weapons and nuptial gifts?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4bd12

Abstract

Many male animals have evolved exaggerated traits that they use in combat with rival males to gain access to females and secure their reproductive success. But some male animals invest in nuptial gifts that gains them access to females. Both these reproductive strategies are costly in that resources are needed to produce the weapon or nuptial gift. In closely related species where both weapons and nuptial gifts are present, little is known about the potential evolutionary trade-off faced by males that have these traits. In this study, we use dobsonflies (order Megaloptera, family Corydalidae, subfamily Corydalinae) to examine the presence and absence of enlarged male weapons versus nuptial gifts within and among species. Many dobsonfly species are sexually dimorphic, and males possess extremely enlarged mandibles that they use in battles, whereas in other species, males produce large nuptial gifts that increase female fecundity. In our study, we show that male accessory gland size strongly correlates with nuptial gift size and that when male weapons are large, nuptial gifts are small and vice versa. We mapped weapons and nuptial gifts onto a phylogeny we constructed of 57 species of dobsonflies. Our among-species comparison shows that large nuptial gift production evolved in many species of dobsonfly but is absent from those with exaggerated weapons. This pattern supports the potential explanation that the trade-off in resource allocation between weapons and nuptial gifts is important in driving the diversity of male mating strategies seen in the dobsonflies, whereas reduced male–male competition in the species producing large spermatophores could be an alternative explanation on their loss of male weapons. Our results shed new light on the evolutionary interplay of multiple sexually selected traits in animals.

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worldwide