UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The Coolidge effect, individual recognition and selection for distinctive cuticular signatures in a burying beetle


Steiger, S; Franz, R; Eggert, A K; Müller, J K (2008). The Coolidge effect, individual recognition and selection for distinctive cuticular signatures in a burying beetle. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275(1645):1831-1838.

Abstract

The ability to recognize individuals is an important aspect of social interactions, but it can also be useful to
avoid repeated matings with the same individual. The Coolidge effect is the progressive decline in a male’s
propensity to mate with the same female combined with a heightened sexual interest in new females.
Although males that recognize previous par tners and show a preference for novel females should have a
selective advantage as they can distribute sperm evenly among the females they encounter, there are few
invertebrate examples of the Coolidge effect. Here we present evidence for this effect in the burying beetle
Nicrophor us vespilloides and examine the mechanism underlying the discrimination between familiar and
novel mates. Burying beetles feed and reproduce on vertebrate carcasses, where they regularly encounter
conspecifics. Males showed greater sexual interest in novel females (virgin or mated) than in females they
had inseminated before. The application of identical cuticular extracts allowed us to experimentally create
females with similar odours, and male responses to such females demonstrated that they use female
cuticular patterns for discrimination. The chemical analysis of the cuticular profile revealed greater inter-
individual variation in female than in male cuticular patterns, which might be due to greater selection on
females to signal their individual identity.

Abstract

The ability to recognize individuals is an important aspect of social interactions, but it can also be useful to
avoid repeated matings with the same individual. The Coolidge effect is the progressive decline in a male’s
propensity to mate with the same female combined with a heightened sexual interest in new females.
Although males that recognize previous par tners and show a preference for novel females should have a
selective advantage as they can distribute sperm evenly among the females they encounter, there are few
invertebrate examples of the Coolidge effect. Here we present evidence for this effect in the burying beetle
Nicrophor us vespilloides and examine the mechanism underlying the discrimination between familiar and
novel mates. Burying beetles feed and reproduce on vertebrate carcasses, where they regularly encounter
conspecifics. Males showed greater sexual interest in novel females (virgin or mated) than in females they
had inseminated before. The application of identical cuticular extracts allowed us to experimentally create
females with similar odours, and male responses to such females demonstrated that they use female
cuticular patterns for discrimination. The chemical analysis of the cuticular profile revealed greater inter-
individual variation in female than in male cuticular patterns, which might be due to greater selection on
females to signal their individual identity.

Citations

44 citations in Web of Science®
48 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

259 downloads since deposited on 07 Jan 2009
57 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:22 August 2008
Deposited On:07 Jan 2009 15:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:45
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8452
Additional Information:Persons who receive the PDF must not make it further available or distribute it.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2008.0375
PubMed ID:18477544

Download

[img]
Filetype: PDF (Verlags-PDF) - Registered users only
Size: 1MB
View at publisher
[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations