Egg-dumping behaviour in the seed beetle Acanthoscelides obtectus (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Bruchinae) selected for early and late reproduction
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In the present study the egg dumping behaviour in short (E)- and long (L)-lived lines of the seed beetle Acanthoscelides obtectus was analyzed. Females of the short-lived E line exhibited substantially higher egg dumping than long-lived L line females. We hypothesize that, since cessation of egg dumping enhances longevity, non-dumping females were selectively favoured in the L regime. Our study also produced evidence that the selection regime affected the male's ability to influence female egg-dumping behaviour. The females mated to males from the lines that were selected for extended longevity and of which the females exhibited little egg-dumping dumped fewer eggs. We suggest that in the L selection regime, where offspring produced at the end of the females' reproductive period were recruited to the next generation, selection operated against those males that stimulated female oviposition in the absence of seeds. This is the first study to provide evidence that selection for long-lived insects results in the reduced potency of male seminal products to stimulate female oviposition.