Canadian Forest Service Publications

Impact of male mating history on the postmating resumption of sexual receptivity and lifetime reproductive success in Choristoneura rosaceana females. 2006. Marcotte, M.; Delisle, J.; McNeil, J.N. Physiol. Entomol. 31: 227-233.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26631

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The first objective of the present study is to test the hypothesis that the decrease in the number of eupyrene spermatozoa in the spermatheca is directly associated with the resumption of sexual receptivity in female moths, an aspect that has not been examined in previous studies. The obliquebanded leafroller, Choristoneura rosaceana, is used and females mated with previously mated males have a shorter refractory period than those mated with virgins. This difference is associated with a faster rate of movement of sperm from the spermatheca. Overall, the length of the female refractory period coincides with the mean time required for the number of eupyrene sperm in the spermatheca to drop to approximately 3000, regardless of male mating history. Although such a decline in sperm numbers may be a factor responsible for the resumption of sexual receptivity, this is clearly not the only one because more than 40% of females remate even though sperm numbers in the spermatheca are well above this threshold. Virgin males do not vary the mass or the content of their ejaculate as a function of the female’s reproductive status and this may increase the risk of sperm competition if the female is previously mated. The second objective of this study is to examine the effect of previous male mating history on female reproductive potential. Females mated with previously mated males have a significantly lower fecundity than those mated with virgin males. However, in all treatments, remating increases both female longevity and lifetime fecundity. There is also a significant effect of female mass on the length of the refractory period and on lifetime fecundity, with large females resuming sexual receptivity sooner and laying more eggs than small ones, regardless of male mating history.