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Data from: Polyandry and postcopulatory sexual selection in a wild population

Cite this dataset

Turnell, Biz R.; Shaw, Kerry L. (2015). Data from: Polyandry and postcopulatory sexual selection in a wild population [Dataset]. Dryad.


When females mate multiply, postcopulatory sexual selection can occur via sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Although postcopulatory selection has the potential to be a major force in driving evolution, few studies have estimated its strength in natural populations. Likewise, though polyandry is widespread across taxa and is the focus of a growing body of research, estimates of natural female mating rates are still limited in number. Microsatellites can be used to estimate the number of mates represented in females’ sperm stores and the number of sires contributing to their offspring, enabling comparisons both of polyandry and of two components of postcopulatory selection: the proportion of males that mate but fail to sire offspring, and the degree of paternity skew among the males that do sire offspring. Here we estimate the number of mates and sires among wild females in the Hawaiian swordtail cricket Laupala cerasina. We compare these estimates to the actual mating rates and paternity shares we observed in a semi-natural population. Our results show that postcopulatory sexual selection operates strongly in this species: wild females mated with an average minimum of 3.6 males but used the sperm from only 58% of them. Furthermore, among the males that did sire offspring, paternity was significantly skewed. These patterns were similar to those observed in the field enclosure, where females mated with an average of 5.7 males and used the sperm from 62% of their mates, with paternity significantly skewed among the sires.

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