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Untersuchungen zur Soziobiologie der Wüstenassel Hemilepistus reaumuri und verwandter Isopodenarten (Isopoda, Oniscoidea): Paarbildung und Evolution der Monogamie

On the sociobiology of the desert isopod Hemilepistus reaumuri, and related species: pairbond and evolution of monogamy

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-30854
  • The desert isopod, Hemilepistus reaumuri, extremely common in the arid regions of North Africa and Asia Minor, depends upon the burrows it itself digs for survival during the hotter parts of the year. The dig-ging of new burrows is limited by chmatic conditions to a short period during the spring. Burrows must be constantly defendet - especially against roving eonspecifics. The decisive problem of a connnuous burrow defense is solved through cooperative behavior: the adult woodlice form monogamous pairs whose partners recognize one anotherThe desert isopod, Hemilepistus reaumuri, extremely common in the arid regions of North Africa and Asia Minor, depends upon the burrows it itself digs for survival during the hotter parts of the year. The dig-ging of new burrows is limited by chmatic conditions to a short period during the spring. Burrows must be constantly defendet - especially against roving eonspecifics. The decisive problem of a connnuous burrow defense is solved through cooperative behavior: the adult woodlice form monogamous pairs whose partners recognize one another individually. Here, questions on the binding of partners, especially the problem of the binding of male to female will be treated upon, along with questions on the evolution of monogamy, wherein the purely maternal families of Porcellio species will be taken as models for intermediäre stages. At first, males olHemilepistus are not permitted to copulate at all; later, for a relatively long period, they are only permitted incomplete copulations, the females alone have control over the partunal ecdysis; they alone determine the moment of final copulations. Under the thermal conditions prevalent during the season of pair formation, a female irreversibly induces a parturial ecdysis only when it has spent a minimum of sev-eral days in her own burrow with a specific male. At higher average temperatures, the number of females which undergo parturial ecdyses without these preconditions increases sharply. Males cannot greatly lnrlu-ence the willingness of females to reproduce with the investment they make in the digging of burrows; the factors deciding this are the male's presence and its role as guard. The first condition necessary for the genesis of monogamy might have been the evolution of a stncüy lo-cation-dependent copulatory behavior, which guaranteed the male exclusive mating pnveliges with the female whose location - the burrow - he acheived control of. A male must, under these conditions, serve guard duty in his own interest, and defend the burrow against competitors (Cf or 2) seeking an already-dug burrow. The decisive advantage for the female in the beginning of the development was probably that she could leave the burrow for extended feeding excursions, whereas alone it would have to either completely forego nourishment or, as is the case with the Porcellio species mentioned, must greatly restrict the spectrum of food that it can use (to that which is to be found only a short distance from the burrow and which can eas-ily be carried inside the burrow). This could be a disadvantage, especially during egg production. Necessary to the male's successful defense of the burrow is that he recognises his female. Studies of the Canary Island Porcellio species have shown over which pathways and under what selection pressures the recopinon of individuals, as is realized mHemilepistus, could have evolved. Females can bind males longer, the longer the period of their attraction is extended: Females olHemilepistus reaumuri have been proven to be al·ready att-ractive before they are ready to copulate and still remain attractive after they have copulated. The conse-quences of the last fact will be discussed. The question of why the males remain with the females after the parturial ecdysis will also be discussed: The great danger to the male's investment resulting from a tooi early abandoning, and the low probability of successfully finding another partner after a later abandomng should prevent a positive balance in the males' cost-effecriveness calculations.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Karl Eduard Linsenmair
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-30854
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Fakultät für Biologie / Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften
Language:German
Year of Completion:1979
Source:In: Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. (1979) 60-72.
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Release Date:2009/11/13