Reproductive benefits and the duration of paternal care in a biparental burying beetle, Necrophorus orbicollis

TitleReproductive benefits and the duration of paternal care in a biparental burying beetle, Necrophorus orbicollis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsTrumbo ST
JournalBehaviour
Volume117
Issue1
Pagination82-105
KeywordsSEXUAL
Abstract

In this study I: estimate the reproductive benefits of paternal care on small and large carcasses in the field; extend the finding that males reduce takeovers by demonstrating that this occurs when competitors are free-flying beetles; find that males decrease the time that a large carcass is vulnerable to a takeover; find no evidence that males decrease other components of reproductive success; and determine that three variables (carcass size, the developmental stage of the larvae and the presence of the female) affect the duration of male care. I relate a longer duration of care on larger carcasses to estimates of reproductive benefits from the field and rule out two alternative hypotheses for more care on larger carcasses. In addition, the effect of prior reproduction on a male's reproductive success and residence time in a subsequent reproductive attempt is examined.