Condition dependence of pheromones and immune function in the grain beetle Tenebrio molitor
Article first published online: 5 AUG 2003
Volume 17, Issue 4, pages 534–540, August 2003
How to Cite
Rantala, M. J., Kortet, R., Kotiaho, J. S., Vainikka, A. and Suhonen, J. (2003), Condition dependence of pheromones and immune function in the grain beetle Tenebrio molitor. Functional Ecology, 17: 534–540. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2003.00764.x
- Issue published online: 5 AUG 2003
- Article first published online: 5 AUG 2003
- Received 19 September 2002; revised 20 March 2003; accepted 27 March 2003
- sexual ornaments;
- sexual selection
- 1Pheromones are chemical signals that function not only as mate attractors, but may also relay important information to prospective mates. In order for the information to be reliable, the signal must be costly to produce and this is likely to result in condition dependent expression of the signal.
- 2We present results from two experiments on the grain beetle Tenebrio molitor examining phenotypic condition dependence of pheromones and patterns of female preference for pheromones. We also analysed condition dependence of two measures of immunocompetence: encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity.
- 3By manipulating the nutritional condition of the males we found that the attractiveness of the male pheromones to virgin females was condition-dependent, indicating that the production of the pheromones is affected by the condition of the male. We also found that the phenoloxidase activity of the males was affected by the nutritional condition of the male but that encapsulation rate was not.
- 4Our results show that pheromones are condition-dependent signals, the quantity of which females use in their mate choice.