The effect of mating frequency and mating pattern on female reproductive fitness in cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi


Correspondence and present address: Fang Sen Xue, Institute of Entomology, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330045, China. E-mail:


It is generally thought that females can receive more of the material benefits from males by increasing mating frequency and polyandry can lead to greater reproductive success. The cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi Baly (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), is a highly promiscuous species, in which females or males can readily mate repeatedly with a given partner or multiple partners at a very high frequency. In the present study, the effect of mating frequency (number of matings) and mating pattern (polyandry vs. monogamy) on female reproductive fitness was investigated by measuring fecundity, fertility, and female longevity. The results indicated that increased female mating frequency with the same male did not result in variation in lifetime fecundity, but significantly increased fertility and decreased female longevity. Moreover, five copulations were sufficient to acquire maximal reproductive potential. Female lifetime fecundity also did not differ between polyandrous and monogamous treatments. However, monogamous females exhibited a significant increase in fertility and significant prolongation of longevity compared with polyandrous females, further demonstrating that monogamy is superior to polyandry in this beetle.