Mate-Guarding, Mating Success and Body Size in the Tropical Millipede 'Nyssodesmus Pythos' (Peters) (Polydesmida: Platyrhacidae)

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Biology (HMC)

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Males of the neotropical millipede Nyssodesmus python guard females for up to several days following copulation. The majority of the adult population (69%) was found in a mated (guarding) pair at any given time. The sex ratio of solitary individuals was 6:7 (females: males). Body sizes of paired and solitary individuals did not differ for either sex, suggesting that mating success does not depend strongly on body size. Females were larger than males. Body sizes of paired females and males were positively correlated (r = 0.22). Laboratory experiments showed that solitary individuals are receptive to mating. We discuss these observations in light of theory about the evolution of mate-guarding behavior.

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The Southwestern Naturalist © 1995 Southwestern Association of Naturalists