Sex Ratio of Small Hive Beetles: The Role of Pupation and Adult Longevity

Papach, Anna; Gonthier, Jérémy; Williams, Geoffrey R.; Neumann, Peter (2019). Sex Ratio of Small Hive Beetles: The Role of Pupation and Adult Longevity. Insects, 10(5) MDPI 10.3390/insects10050133

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The sex ratio of sexually reproducing animal species tends to be 1:1, which is known as Fisher's principle. However, differential mortality and intraspecific competition during pupation can result in a biased adult sex ratio in insects. The female-biased sex ratio of small hive beetles (SHBs) is known from both laboratory and field studies, but the underlying reasons are not well understood. Here, we used laboratory mass and individual pupation to test if differential mortality between sexes and/or intraspecific interactions can explain this sex ratio. The data show a significant female-biased adult sex ratio in both mass and individual rearing, even when assuming that all dead individuals were males. Our results therefore suggest that neither differential mortality during pupation nor intraspecific interactions are likely to explain the female-biased sex ratio of freshly emerged adult SHBs. We regard it as more likely that either competition during the larval feeding stage or genetic mechanisms are involved. In addition, we compared our data with previously published data on the sex ratio of both freshly emerged and field-collected SHBs to investigate possible gender differences in adult longevity. The data show a significantly greater female bias in the sex ratio upon emergence, compared to field-collected SHBs, suggesting that adult females have a shorter longevity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Papach, Anna and Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

2075-4450

Publisher:

MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

31 Mar 2020 13:41

Last Modified:

31 Mar 2020 13:50

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/insects10050133

PubMed ID:

31067691

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.142080

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/142080

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