Experienced males have higher mating success than virgin males despite fitness costs to females

Panagiotis G. Milonas, Shannon L. Farrell, David A. Andow

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21 Scopus citations


It is generally assumed that mating history has potentially important effects on the mating biology of insects, and differences in mating success of males, in relation to their mating history, have been commonly documented in Lepidoptera. Mating success of male European corn borer Ostrinia nubilalis, in relation to their mating history, and consequent fitness parameters for their female mates, were investigated. Mating experience significantly increased mating success for O. nubilalis males. Mating with experienced males significantly reduced lifetime fecundity and longevity of females. Sperm depletion, transfer of less nutritive substances or more toxic substances may explain the female response to mating with experienced males. Male persistence or some other compensatory mechanism may account for female acceptance of experienced males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1256
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We thank two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments that improved the manuscript. This work was supported by a fellowship from Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development Co-operative Research Programme to PGM and USDA Regional Research Project NC-205.


  • Fecundity
  • Fitness
  • Mating behaviour
  • Mating history
  • Reproductive success
  • Sexual selection


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