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Abstract

Male age and sexual experience are important condition parameters that can influence mate choice and female fitness, yet they are seldom studied simultaneously. Here, we investigated the effect of male age and previous sexual experience on mating success and female fitness in the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae). Males were either young or old, sexually experienced or naïve. Older and sexually experienced males obtained more copulations. However, females did not receive benefits in terms of lifetime fecundity, fertility, or longevity from mating with these males. Results suggest that males become more competitive as they age and gain sexual experience and may be able to maintain a high quality ejaculate compared to young males. Older experienced males may be manipulating females into preferentially mating with them at no benefit to females. Alternatively, females may prefer mating with older more experienced males and possibly receive other indirect benefits, but this remains to be tested.