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Evidence for mate guarding behavior in the Taylor's checkerspot butterflyAuthor(s): Victoria J. Bennett; Winston P. Smith; Matthew G. Betts
Source: Journal of Insect Behavior. 23(3): doi:10.1007/s10905-011-9289-1.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionDiscerning the intricacies of mating systems in butterflies can be difficult, particularly when multiple mating strategies are employed and are cryptic and not exclusive. We observed the behavior and habitat use of 113 male Taylor's checkerspot butterflies (Euphydryas editha taylori). We confirmed that two distinct mating strategies were exhibited; patrolling and perching. These strategies varied temporally in relation to the protandrous mating system employed. Among perching males, we recorded high site fidelity and aggressive defense of small (<5 m2) territories. This territoriality was not clearly a function of classic or non-classic resource defense (i.e., host plants or landscape), but rather appeared to constitute guarding of female pupae (virgin females). This discrete behavior is previously undocumented for this species and has rarely been observed in butterflies.
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CitationBennett, Victoria J.; Smith, Winston P.; Betts, Matthew G. 2011. Evidence for mate guarding behavior in the Taylor's checkerspot butterfly. Journal of Insect Behavior. 23(3): doi:10.1007/s10905-011-9289-1.
KeywordsEuphydryas editha taylori, mating systems, pre-copulatory mate guarding, protandry, sexual selection
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