Data from: Increased female resistance to mating promotes the effect of mechanical constraints on latency to pair
Han, Chang Seok; Jablonski, Piotr G. (2019), Data from: Increased female resistance to mating promotes the effect of mechanical constraints on latency to pair, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6p6f8m5
Size-assortative mating, defined as a positive linear association of body size between members of mating pairs, can arise from mechanical constraints on pairing efficiency, particularly when mating success is affected by males' mate-grasping force. In this context, female resistance is predicted to have an important role in changing the threshold force necessary for males to hold females, thereby contributing to the effect of mechanical constraints. Thus, increased female resistance is expected to increase the paring success of an optimally sized male relative to the female body size (sexual size ratio = male body size/female body size = 0.86), which leads to positive size-assortative mating. However, very little is known about the extent to which female resistance affects mechanical constraints on mate grasping. Here, using the water strider Gerris gracilicornis (Hemiptera: Gerridae), we tested whether the level of female resistance affected the relationship between the sexual size ratio and latency to pair. We found that optimally sized males mated sooner than other males when females resisted a male’s mating attempts. When females did not resist, an effect of sexual size ratio on latency to pair was not found. Our results thus imply that increased female resistance to male mating attempts may strengthen the pattern of size-assortative mating. We provide clear empirical evidence that female resistance to mating influences the effect of mechanical constraints on size-assortative mating under sexual conflict. This result further suggests that patterns of size-assortative mating can be altered by a variety of ecological circumstances that change female resistance to mating in many other animal species under sexual conflict.