Genetic Consequences of Mate Choice: A Quantitative Genetic Method for Testing Sexual Selection Theory

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Science  01 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4690, pp. 1061-1063
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4690.1061


To investigate whether female mate choice could be directed at male genetic quality, male chemical signals and progeny fitness were studied in the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum). Differences among males in the attractiveness of their pheromone to females were statistically significant. Developmental time of progeny was significantly heritable, indicating that some males have "good genes" for this trait. There was no statistically significant correlation between progeny fitness and male attractiveness. These results do not support the hypothesis that in this species the evolution of female preferences for male pheromone is adaptive.