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The Coolidge effect, individual recognition and selection for distinctive cuticular signatures in a burying beetle

Title data

Steiger, Sandra ; Franz, Ragna ; Eggert, Anne-Katrin ; Müller, Josef K.:
The Coolidge effect, individual recognition and selection for distinctive cuticular signatures in a burying beetle.
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B : Biological Sciences. Vol. 275 (2008) . - pp. 1831-1838.
ISSN 1471-2954
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2008.0375

Abstract in another language

The ability to recognize individuals is an important aspect of social interactions, but it can also be useful to avoid repeated matings with the same individual. The Coolidge effect is the progressive decline in a male's propensity to mate with the same female combined with a heightened sexual interest in new females. Although males that recognize previous partners and show a preference for novel females should have a selective advantage as they can distribute sperm evenly among the females they encounter, there are few invertebrate examples of the Coolidge effect. Here we present evidence for this effect in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides and examine the mechanism underlying the discrimination between familiar and novel mates. Burying beetles feed and reproduce on vertebrate carcasses, where they regularly encounter conspecifics. Males showed greater sexual interest in novel females (virgin or mated) than in females they had inseminated before. The application of identical cuticular extracts allowed us to experimentally create females with similar odours, and male responses to such females demonstrated that they use female cuticular patterns for discrimination. The chemical analysis of the cuticular profile revealed greater inter-individual variation in female than in male cuticular patterns, which might be due to greater selection on females to signal their individual identity.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER147483
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology > Chair Animal Ecology II - Evolutionary Animal Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sandra Steiger
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2019 06:54
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2019 06:54
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/48408