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Mating experience influences mate choice and reproductive output in an aphidophagous ladybird, Menochilus sexmaculatus

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Information about mating status can be used to decide about whether to invest resources in mating with a particular partner. In the present study, we evaluated mate choice in relation to the mating experience of males and females of Menochilus sexmaculatus. We subjected both unmated and multiply mated males and females to different mate choice trials. The mating experience of the adults includes unmated, once-mated, twice-mated and multiply mated. The mate choice trials revealed that unmated adults were preferred over mated adults by both unmated and multiply mated partners. This preference for unmated partners also had consequences for mating behaviour and reproductive output. Unmated and multiply mated females commenced mating with unmated males earlier. In addition, unmated and multiply mated males invested more time in copula with unmated females. Moreover, females mated with unmated males were more fecund than those mated with previously mated males. This suggests that mating experience of mates may influence mating and reproductive behaviour in this species.

Affiliations: 1: Ladybird Research Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow-226007, India

*Joint first authors
**Corresponding author; e-mail:

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