Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Polyandrous females provide sons with more competitive sperm: Support for the sexy-sperm hypothesis in the rattlebox moth (<i>Utetheisa ornatrix</i>)
by Egan, Andrea Lynne, M.S., Villanova University, 2014, 66; 1554782
Abstract (Summary)

In regards to sexual selection, the prevailing paradigm is that males maximize fitness by taking as many mates as possible whereas females maximize fitness by choosing a small number of high-quality mates. Given the costs associated with mating, why and how has female polyandry evolved? Utetheisa ornatrix are well-suited for studying multiple mating in females because females are highly polyandrous over their lifespan, with each mate delivering a substantial spermatophore with genetic and non-genetic material. To help explain the prevalence of polyandry, I tested the "sexy-sperm" hypothesis, which posits that females that mate multiply gain by producing sons with more-competitive sperm, a trait inherited from their father. I mated females to males with mothers of varying mating history and found that in 511 offspring across 17 families, the male whose mother was multiply mated sired 75.5% of all total offspring and that mating order did not affect siring success.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Iyengar, Vikram K.
Commitee: Curry, Robert L., Russell, Michael P.
School: Villanova University
Department: Biology
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Biology, Conservation, Behavioral Sciences
Keywords: Lepidoptera, Polyandry, Postcopulatory, Sexual selection
Publication Number: 1554782
ISBN: 9781303860515