In a study on the complicated sexual conflict over mating in horned flour-beetle, researchers found that female choice targets male courtship rather than a show of mandibles (enlarged lower jaws to fight rivals) in male horned beetles.

"We found that the most attractive males, those most preferred by females, were not the highly competitive males with large mandibles," said professor Dave Hosken from University of Exeter.

“This is despite the fact these fighter males enjoy significant mating advantages when in direct competition for females. Instead, females prefer to mate with males that court more.” said Hosken.

This shows that choice and competition favour different traits," Hosken added. Female mate choice and male-male competition are the typical mechanisms of sexual selection.

However, these two mechanisms do not always favour the same males."Mating with more attractive and competitive males was not found to provide direct benefits to females but it did lead to them producing more attractive and competitive sons," researchers emphasised.

The paper appeared in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk