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Abstract

When there is an inbreeding depression, mating with a kin individual is generally considered maladaptive behaviour. However, in some conditions, the inclusive fitness benefits from inbreeding may outweigh the costs of inbreeding depression, and thus, inbreeding tolerance is often adaptive. Inbreeding depression and the effect of relatedness on mating behaviour in the West Indian sweet potato weevil Euscepes postfasciatus were examined. No significant inbreeding depression was detected as indicated by body weight and number of progeny emerging from sweet potato roots. Male mating performance (i.e. number of mating occurrences per night) was adversely affected by inbreeding depression, but the effect was low (fitness loss was 6.3%). Although there were no significant differences in latency to mounting, pre-copulatory guarding, copulation and post-copulatory guarding duration between full-sib and non-kin pairs, the copulation rate of full-sib pairs was significantly higher than that of non-kin pairs. These results support the theoretical prediction that when inbreeding depression is weak, copulation with close relative individuals is favoured.