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Sex Ratio and Optimal Male Time Investment Strategies in Asellus Aquaticus (L.) and a. Meridianus Racovitza

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A. aquaticus and A. meridianus have a passive phase in which the male carries the female for some days before moulting and copulation are possible. The effect of varying male: female ratios (0.5:1; 1:1; 1.5:1) is discussed in this paper. It was found that an increase in the proportion of males led to: a) earlier initiation of the passive phase; b) lower gain rates from paired females; c) an increased tendency for males to leave females; d) a reduction in the strength of the association between the timing of pairing and oviposition. The relevance of these observations to models of optimal female guarding and foraging strategies is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Extension Studies, University of Liverpool, England

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