Many forms of polygyny are observed across different animal groups. In some species, groups of females may remain with a single male for breeding, often referred to as “harem polygyny”. The environment and the amount of habitat available for feeding, mating and oviposition may have an effect on the formation of harems. We aimed to determine how the surrounding environment (a harvested or unharvested pine plantation) and availability of local substrate affect the harems of the bark beetle, Ips grandicollis
(Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). In a harvested pine plantation with large amounts of available habitat, the population density of these beetles is much higher than in unharvested plantations. We found the number of females per male to be significantly greater in the harvested plantation than the unharvested one. Additionally, the amount of substrate available in the immediate local vicinity (the number of logs in replicate piles) also influences the number of beetles attracted to a log and size of individual harems. We also examined how females were distributing themselves in their galleries around the males’ nuptial chamber, as previous work has demonstrated the potential for competition between neighbouring females and their offspring. Females do not perform clumping, suggesting some avoidance when females make their galleries, but they also do not distribute themselves evenly. Female distribution around the male’s nuptial chamber appears to be random, and not influenced by other females or external conditions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited