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Data from: Facultative pupal mating in Heliconius erato: implications for mate choice, female preference, and speciation

Citation

Thurman, Timothy J.; Brodie, Emily; Evans, Elizabeth; McMillan, William Owen (2018), Data from: Facultative pupal mating in Heliconius erato: implications for mate choice, female preference, and speciation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t0hd4

Abstract

Mating systems have broad impacts on how sexual selection and mate choice operate within a species, but studies of mating behavior in the laboratory may not reflect how these processes occur in the wild. Here, we examined the mating behavior of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius erato in the field by releasing larvae and virgin females and observing how they mated. H. erato is considered a pupal-mating species (i.e., males mate with females as they emerge from the pupal case). However, we observed only two teneral mating events, and experimentally released virgins were almost all mated upon recapture. Our study confirms the presence of some pupal-mating behavior in H. erato, but suggests that adult mating is likely the prevalent mating strategy in this species. These findings have important implications for the role of color pattern and female mate choice in the generation of reproductive isolation in this diverse genus.

Usage Notes

Location

Panama