Insect behaviour: Reversal of sex roles in nuptial feeding

  title={Insect behaviour: Reversal of sex roles in nuptial feeding},
  author={G{\"o}ran Arnqvist and Ther{\'e}sa M. Jones and Mark A. Elgar},
Males of many animals provide females with 'nuptial gifts', such as prey items or glandular secretions, during courtship and mating. Traditionally, nuptial feeding is viewed as a form of paternal investment in offspring. Although other explanations have been proposed, the focus remains gender-specific, with a male donor and female recipient. Here we show that females of the extraordinary insect Phoreticovelia disparata provide food for males during mating. This previously undescribed reversal… 

Sex-role reversed nuptial feeding reduces male kleptoparasitism of females in Zeus bugs (Heteroptera; Veliidae)

It is suggested that females have, at least in part, evolved this unique form of nuptial feeding as a counteradaptation to reduce the rate of kleptoparasitism by males.

The extraordinary mating system of Zeus bugs (Heteroptera : Veliidae : Phoreticovelia sp.)

Natural history details of the mating behaviour for two Zeus bug species are provided and it is suggested that it adds to those studies showing that sexually antagonistic coevolution can be a driver of mating system evolution.

The role of male's anal horns in copulation of a scorpionfly

The anal horns of male D. magna seem to be a male adaptation evolved to overcome female mating resistance, by promoting male domination in copulation through increasing the duration of pre- and post-gift-providing copulatory stages against female resistance and by avoiding wasting of nuptial gifts.

The Evolution of Animal Nuptial Gifts

Daring females, devoted males, and reversed sexual size dimorphism in the sand-dwelling spider Allocosa brasiliensis (Araneae, Lycosidae)

Findings on the sand-dwelling wolf spider, Allocosa brasiliensis, prove a reversal in typical courtship roles reported for the first time in spiders, turning it as a promising model for discussing the determinants of sex roles and the pressures that drive their evolution and maintenance.

Death feigning in the face of sexual cannibalism

It is proposed that death feigning evolved as an adaptive male mating strategy in conjunction with nuptial gift giving under the risk of being victimized by females.

Extreme cost of male riding behaviour for juvenile females of the Zeus bug

Size-assortative pairing across three developmental stages in the Zeus bug, Phoreticovelia disparata

It is proposed that size-assortative pairing arises through adaptations that have evolved to minimise the potential costs of sexual conflict and that the selective pressure on males to maximise survival benefits is sufficiently high that it outweighs the reproductive benefits of discriminating against fourth instar females.



Sexual Selection and Paternal Investment in Insects

It is hypothesize that female preference for greater male parental investment may have been the selective context for the evolution of all types of male investment patterns in insects.

The function of nuptial feeding in insects: a review of empirical studies

Evidence for the potential ofnuptial gifts to function as either paternal investment, mating effort, or both is reviewed for each form of nuptial feeding in each insect taxon for which sufficient data are available.

Courtship feeding increases female reproductive success in bushcrickets

Results are reported of an experiment which shows that feeding on the spermatophore enhances the reproductive success of female bushcrickets by increasing the numbers and size of eggs produced.

Drosophila Males Contribute to Oogenesis in a Multiple Mating Species

Two species of Drosophila that differ in their ecology and mating systems have been compared with respect to male contribution to the somatic tissues and developing oocytes of females. In the species

The evolution of polyandry: multiple mating and female fitness in insects

A meta-analysis of 122 experimental studies addressing the direct effects of multiple mating on female fitness in insects shows that females gain directly from multiple matings in terms of increased lifetime offspring production, and supports the existence of an intermediate optimal female mating rate.


  • N. Wedell
  • Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1991
Phylogenetic studies of coadaptation: Preferred temperatures versus optimal performance temperatures of Australian Lizards and the phylogenetic regression.

Additional New Genera and Species of Microveliinae (Heteroptera: Veliidae) from New Guinea and Adjacent Regions

A large and highly endemic assemblage of genera and species in the subfamily Microveliinae, many of which are still undescribed, are brought to the attention of the author.

New genera of Veliidae (Hemiptera : Heteroptera) from Australia, with notes on the generic classification of the subfamily Microveliinae

Thegeneric classification of the subfamily Microveliinae is discussed and three new genera forspecies previously classified in the genus MicroveliaWestwood are described as well as three other new generA and nine new species.