Skip to main content

Costly mating delays drive female ornamentation in a capital breeder full dataset

Cite this dataset

Hopkins, Juhani; Baudry, Gautier; Lehtonen, Topi K.; Kaitala, Arja (2022). Costly mating delays drive female ornamentation in a capital breeder full dataset [Dataset]. Dryad.


The data is related to experiments on glow-worms (L. noctiluca), where we studied the effect of stressing and mating delays on signalling effort.We address how fecundity might be traded off with mate attraction and other aspects of reproduction in females remains poorly understood. We investigated these allocation trade-offs using the common glow-worm (Lampyris noctiluca), a lampyrid beetle in which flightless, sedentary females only use resources gathered during the larval stage to attract flying males by glowing. While sexual signalling was not found to have a significant fecundity cost, a delay in successfully attracting a mate greatly increased the risk of reproductive failure, with fecundity losses being more severe in small females. These findings are among the first to show that failure to quickly attract a mate can decrease female fecundity. The results also show how the length of delay before mating can drive the evolution of female sexual ornamentation.


Data collected through observation of glow-worms in laboratory conditions. The full methods are described in the related research article.

Usage notes

The Excel-file has two tabs. The first includes the full dataset. The second provides descriptions of each variable.

Potentially reuseable variables recorded include glow-worm female sizes, female signalling effort and fecundity.

There are no ethical issues with reusing the data. Metadata is provided in the same file as the data.



Academy of Finland, Award: 294664

Waldemar von Frenckells Stiftelse