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Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual SystemsCrustaceans as Model Organisms$
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J. Emmett Duffy and Martin Thiel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179927

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179927.001.0001

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Mating Strategies in Isopods

Mating Strategies in Isopods

From Mate Monopolization to Conflicts

(p.167) 8 Mating Strategies in Isopods
Evolutionary Ecology of Social and Sexual Systems

Veijo Jormalainen

Oxford University Press

Isopods show a wide range in mating systems. Mate guarding by males before copulation occurs commonly in most free-living taxa, with the notable exception of the terrestrial Oniscidea. Such guarding prior to copulation is interpreted as a male mate monopolization strategy, evolved as a response to short female receptivity to copulation. Males are able to assess female maturity and to adjust guarding duration accordingly; relatively long guarding duration is often optimal for males. Guarding has no known benefits for females. Moreover, guarding is likely to impose costs for females, thus leading to a sexual conflict. Experimental studies suggest that conflicts over the start of guarding generate sexual selection for traits related to obtaining or resisting mates, as well as for traits related to cryptic female choice. Isopod mating systems can be used to clarify the roles played by traditional female choice and intersexual conflicts in sexual selection.

Keywords:   mating systems, sexual conflict, guarding, trait evolution, sexual selection, female choice

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