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Proc Biol Sci. Apr 22, 2000; 267(1445): 807–811.
PMCID: PMC1690601
Nuptial gifts and the use of body resources for reproduction in the green-veined white butterfly Pieris napi.
F Stjernholm and B Karlsson
Department of Zoology, University of Stockholm, Sweden.
Abstract
Reproduction in butterflies, as in many holometabolous insects, is usually constrained by the amount of nutrients the animals can collect as juveniles. In polyandric species the females can also supplement their larval-derived reserves with protein-rich donations, so-called nuptial gifts, delivered by the males at mating. Recent findings also indicate that females have access to nitrogen from the histolysis of flight muscles in the thorax. This field study examined how butterflies of the polyandric gift-giving species Pieris napi (Lepidoptera: Pieridae) use body resources in their reproduction and how the male donations affect the females use of stored reserves. The results support earlier studies, indicating that females use resources from the breakdown of thorax muscles to increase their reproductive potential and the results also indicate that males also use thorax material in their reproduction. The study also supports recent findings that the male donation increases the breakdown of body resources and thereby boosts the reproductive output of the female.
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Selected References
These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Karlsson B, Leimar O, Wiklund C. Unpredictable environments, nuptial gifts and the evolution of sexual size dimorphism in insects: an experiment. Proc Biol Sci. 1997 Apr 22;264(1381):475–479. [PMC free article]
Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of
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