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Open AccessArticle

Variation in Mating Dynamics across Five Species of Leiobunine Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opliones)

Department of Biology, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63103, USA
Biology Department, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN 55105, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2018, 7(2), 36;
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of Mating Choice)
The study of mating choices often focuses on correlates of traits to the overall outcome of a mating interaction. However, mating interactions can proceed through a series of stages, with opportunities for assessment at each stage. We compared whether male or female size predicted mating interaction outcome across several stages of mating in five species of North American leiobunine harvestmen (commonly known as daddy longlegs). Leiobunine harvestmen have been previously shown to exhibit incredible morphological diversity consistent with a spectrum of male–female antagonism. Across all of the species, we found a general progression of female size predicting the outcome (success and timing) of early stages of interactions, and male size or male size relative to female size predicting the outcome and timing of later stages of interactions. We also found that size was not a strong predictor of outcome in the two species on the lower end of the antagonism spectrum. The variation in how female and male size predicted outcomes across species and stages of mating suggests that multiple mechanisms may operate to shape mating dynamics within and across species. Given the close relatedness of the species studied, the patterns we uncovered suggest a rapid evolution of the traits and processes predicting the outcome of mating interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: mate choice evolution; mutual assessment; male–female antagonism; Opiliones mate choice evolution; mutual assessment; male–female antagonism; Opiliones
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Fowler-Finn, K.D.; Boyer, S.L.; Ikagawa, R.; Jeffries, T.; Kahn, P.C.; Larsen, E.M.; Lee, D.; Smeester, M. Variation in Mating Dynamics across Five Species of Leiobunine Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opliones). Biology 2018, 7, 36.

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