Is it risky to be a father? Survival assessment depending on sex and parental status in the water bug Abedus breviceps using multistate modelling

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Abstract:

We carried out a capture–recapture multistate modelling approach to estimate survival and recapture probabilities and transition rates between parental and nonparental status in an adult wild population of the water bug Abedus breviceps Stål, 1862 (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae). The global model included the following parameters: sex, male parental status (brooding or not), and transience (individual’s permanent movement from the site after first capture). Models were selected by means of the information-theory paradigm. The best supported model shows no difference in survival between males and females regardless of male parental status. Thus, the frequently assumed cost of parental care in terms of survival is not supported by our data. Furthermore, during the study, male expected adult life span in the wild was lower than the time needed to brood a batch of eggs from oviposition to hatching. We discuss potential consequences of such a short male expected adult life span in terms of parental behaviour decision rules related to fitness maximization.

Nous avons utilisé une méthodologie de modélisation de type capture–recapture à états multiples pour estimer la survie, les probabilités de recapture et les taux de passage entre les statuts parental et non parental dans une population sauvage adulte de la punaise aquatique Abedus breviceps Stål, 1862 (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae). Le modèle global comprend les variables suivantes: sexe, statut parental mâle (porteur ou non de la ponte) et errance (déplacement permanent de l’individu depuis le site de la première capture). Nous avons sélectionné les modèles d’après le paradigme de la théorie de l’information. Le modèle le plus solide ne montre aucune différence de survie entre les mâles et les femelles, quel que soit le statut parental du mâle. Le coût fréquemment présumé du soin parental en ce qui a trait à la survie n’est donc pas appuyé par nos données. De plus, durant notre étude, la durée attendue de la vie adulte chez les mâles en nature est plus courte que le temps nécessaire pour couver une ponte jusqu’à l’éclosion. Nous discutons des conséquences potentielles d’une vie adulte attendue si courte chez les mâles en fonction des règles de décision du comportement parental reliées à la maximisation de la fitness.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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