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Mating Tactics in the Tropical Millipede Alloporus Uncinatus (Diplopoda: Spirostreptidae)

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Field and laboratory observations of mating behaviour in a population of the tropical millipede Alloporus uncinatus were carried out over one breeding season. Males obtained mates through random encounters and by forming triplet associations with copula pairs. The occurrence of triplet associations in the field was coincident with a highly male biased operational sex ratio. Mate acquisition by males was apparently stochastic and direct physical competition did not occur. In laboratory experiments mating was size-selective probably as a consequence of female choice. We consider the possibility that sperm competition has contributed to the evolution of the mating system in this species.


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Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe


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