Term of Award

Summer 1996

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Denson Kelly McLain

Committee Member 1

John W. Parrish

Committee Member 2

Stephen P. Vives

Abstract

Sexual selection arises from variation in mating success and is measured by calculating the opportunity for sexual selection. The opportunity for sexual selection, /, is derived by dividing the variance in mating success by the mean number of matings. Variation in mating success can be of phenotypic and environmental origin Hubbell and Johnson (1987) hypothesized that the strength of sexual selection is not easily determined due to variation in environmental influences and that when variation in mating success is measured, it is of environmental origin. This hypothesis was tested by sequestering stink bugs in cages in the ratios of three males: one female, two males: two females and one male: three females. Numbers of matings were recorded and analyzed The results indicated large variation in mating success for males and insignificant variation in that for females. A significant correlation between numbers of matings and both antennal length and pronotal width for males indicated that females exercise choice. The significant variation in male mating success in the absence of environmental influences suggests that a significant amount of variation in mating success is not environmental in origin and that sexual selection contributes significantly to phenotypic change in N. viridula.

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