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Evolutionary Studies of the New Zealand Coastal Mosquito Opifex Fuscus (Hutton) Ii. Competition for Mates

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In the mating aggregations of Opifex fuscus, as in those of many other dipterans, the Operational Sex Ratio is strongly biased towards males. Male Opifex swarm on the water surface of the salt-water pools from which the adults emerge. They grasp pupae and mate with emerging females. We here present evidence for non-random mating among males with respect to body size, and discuss our results in relation to other species with similar mating systems. Our results suggest that reproductive competition among males has been an important factor in the evolution of the apifex mating system.

Affiliations: 1: Marine Research Laboratory, R. D. Leigh, and Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Auckland, Private Bag, Auckland, New Zealand


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