Meeting Abstract

115.2  Saturday, Jan. 7  Mating Status Drives Male-Female Interactions in a Polygynandrous Butterfly WESTERMAN, E.L.*; MONTEIRO, A.; Yale University; Yale University

Operational sex ratio (OSR) is one of the main factors driving mate selectivity and mating behavior. Though often considered stable for a given population, OSR may vary throughout the breeding season as mating statuses of individuals change. These changes in mating status may lead to shifts in mate selectivity, particularly in species that are polygynandrous (both sexes mate multiply). However, the effect of mating status on mate selectivity and mating behavior is largely unexplored. Here we test whether mating status influences mating behavior in a polygynandrous species, the butterfly Bicyclus anynana. We observed male-female interactions of pairs of butterflies of both seasonal forms with different mating status combinations (both virgins, male previously mated, female previously mated, both sexes previously mated) and documented rates of behavior, likelihood to copulate, latency to copulation, and copulation duration. Female, but not male, mating status influenced likelihood to copulate in both seasonal forms. Virgin females mated more frequently than previously mated females. However, male, but not female, mating status influenced duration of copulation in one of the two seasonal forms. Previously mated males copulated for a longer period than virgin males. These results demonstrate that both males and females are modifying their mating behavior based on their previous mating experience. This suggests that individual mating status may drive mate selectivity and consequent operational sex ratio in polygynadrous species such as B. anynana.