Journal Article

Does seed size mediate sex-specific reproduction costs in the Callosobruchus maculatus bean beetle?

Małek, D. K., Dańko, M. J., Czarnołęski, M.
PLOS One, 14:12, e0225967 (2019)
Open Access


There is a trade-off between reproductive effort and adult longevity, and when resource allocation is taken into account, it is especially pronounced in species that have aphagous adult forms. This trade-off may be further complicated by environmental factors such as nutrient availability during larval development and by the other sex, which influences the costs of reproduction due to the presentation of nuptial gifts. Here, we examined the influence of lar-val nutrient quantity on the sex-specific longevity costs of reproduction in the gift-giving seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We found no indication that differences in the nutrient quality of larger and smaller host seeds influence survival in virgin and reproducing individuals or nuptial gift size in reproducing individuals. However, in the case of reproducing individuals, the effect of seed size on survival was statistically marginal. Therefore, we advise taking this into account when investigating reproductive efforts in this species. We have also observed interesting interactions between male and female reproductive costs. While females had generally higher mortality than males, nuptial gifts resulted in lowered female mortality and increased male mortality. Additionally, we found a possibly non-linear relationship between nuptial gift size and the offspring production rate of female recipients.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.