Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection

Engqvist L, Dekomien G, Lippmann T, Epplen JT, Sauer KP (2007)
Evolutionary Ecology 21(6): 801-816.

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Post-copulatory episodes of sexual selection can be a powerful selective force influencing the reproductive success of males. In order to understand variation in male fertilisation success, we first need to consider the pattern of sperm utilisation by females following matings with more than one male. Second, we need to study those traits responsible for male success in sperm competition. Here we study both male sperm transfer characteristics as well as offspring paternity of females mated to two males in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata. By repeatedly mating males to virgin females and interrupting copulation at defined time points, we found for all males that sperm transfer set off after approximately 40 min. During the remaining copulation, sperm transfer of individual males was continuous and with constant rate. Yet the rate of sperm transfer differed between individual males from about one sperm per minute to more than eight sperm per minute for the most successful males. In addition, we measured the fertilisation success in sperm competition of males with known sperm transfer capability. The relative number of sperm transferred by males during copulation, estimated from copulation duration and the males' individual sperm transfer rate, explained a large proportion of variation in offspring paternity. The mode of sperm competition in this species, thus, conforms largely to a fair raffle following complete mixing of sperm prior to fertilisation. Hence, male differences in both the ability to copulate for long and of rapid sperm transfer will translate directly into differences in reproductive success.
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Engqvist L, Dekomien G, Lippmann T, Epplen JT, Sauer KP. Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection. Evolutionary Ecology. 2007;21(6):801-816.
Engqvist, L., Dekomien, G., Lippmann, T., Epplen, J. T., & Sauer, K. P. (2007). Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection. Evolutionary Ecology, 21(6), 801-816.
Engqvist, L., Dekomien, G., Lippmann, T., Epplen, J. T., and Sauer, K. P. (2007). Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection. Evolutionary Ecology 21, 801-816.
Engqvist, L., et al., 2007. Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection. Evolutionary Ecology, 21(6), p 801-816.
L. Engqvist, et al., “Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection”, Evolutionary Ecology, vol. 21, 2007, pp. 801-816.
Engqvist, L., Dekomien, G., Lippmann, T., Epplen, J.T., Sauer, K.P.: Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection. Evolutionary Ecology. 21, 801-816 (2007).
Engqvist, Leif, Dekomien, Gabriele, Lippmann, Tania, Epplen, Jörg T., and Sauer, Klaus Peter. “Sperm transfer and paternity in the scorpionfly Panorpa cognata: large variance in traits favoured by postcopulatory episodes of sexual selection”. Evolutionary Ecology 21.6 (2007): 801-816.
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