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The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems

By: David M Shuker(Editor), Leigh W Simmons(Editor)

339 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations, tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Aug 2014 | #213632 | ISBN-13: 9780199678037
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £43.49 $57/€49 approx
Hardback | Aug 2014 | #213631 | ISBN-13: 9780199678020
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £86.99 $114/€99 approx

About this book

Insects display a staggering diversity of mating and social behaviours. Studying these systems provides insights into a wide range of evolutionary and behavioural questions, such as the evolution of sex, sexual selection, sexual conflict, and parental care. This edited volume provides an authoritative update of the landmark book in the field, The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems (Thornhill and Alcock, 1983), which had such a huge impact in shaping adaptationist approaches to the study of animal behaviour and influencing the study of the evolution of reproductive behaviour far beyond the taxonomic remit of insects.

This accessible new volume brings the empirical and conceptual scope of the original book fully up to date, incorporating the wealth of new knowledge and research of the last 30 years. It explores the evolution of complex forms of sex determination in insects, and the role of sexual selection in shaping the evolution of mating systems. Selection arising via male contest competition and female choice (both before and after copulation) are discussed, as are the roles of parasites and pathogens in mediating the strength of sexual selection, and the role that parental care plays in successful reproduction.

The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems is suitable for both graduate students and researchers interested in insect mating systems or behaviour from an evolutionary, genetical, physiological, or ecological perspective. Due to its interdisciplinary and concept-driven approach, it will also be of relevance and use to a broad audience of evolutionary biologists.

"[...] The authors write with authority and the reference list is very full and up-to-date and overall this seems to be a worthy successor to the 1983 version. [...] it can be widely recommended and is likely to lead to further advances in its field."
- Mark Young, The Bulletin of the British Ecological Society 46(1), March 2015


1: Benjamin B. Normark: Modes of reproduction
2: David Shuker: Sexual selection theory
3: Hanna Kokko, Hope Klug and Michael D. Jennions: Mating systems
4: Michael G. Ritchie and Roger K. Butlin: The genetics of insect mating systems
5: Patricia J. Moore: Reproductive physiology and behaviour
6: Douglas J. Emlen: Reproductive contests and the evolution of extreme weaponry
7: Bruno A. Buzatto, Joseph L. Tomkins and Leigh W. Simmons: Alternative phenotypes within mating systems
8: John Hunt and Scott K. Sakaluk: Mate choice
9: Rhonda R Snook: The evolution of polyandry
10: Leigh W. Simmons: Sperm competition
11: Goran Arnqvist: Cryptic female choice
12: Per T. Smiseth: Parental care
13: Marlene Zuk and Nina Wedell: Parasites and pathogens in sexual selection
14: Boris Baer: Sexual selection in social insects
15: John Alcock and Randy Thornhill: The evolution of insect mating systems

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David Shuker is a NERC Advanced Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of St Andrews. His research focuses on the evolution of reproductive behaviour in insects. This work brings together functional and mechanistic studies at the genetic and whole organism level to test evolutionary theory. David has worked on various aspects of reproductive behaviour and ecology in a number of different insect species, including extensive work on sex allocation and the causes and consequences of sexual conflict over reproductive decisions. David has published more than 50 papers and articles. He has also recently co-edited a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, and is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Biology Letters and Ecology and Evolution.

Leigh Simmons is an ARC Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia. His research uses both vertebrates and invertebrates to test the predictions and assumptions of theoretical models of sexual selection and life history evolution. Collectively, these research programs seek to determine the direction and strength of selection acting on male and female reproductive strategies, and on the morphological and life history traits that contribute to fitness, from the whole organism to its gametes. Leigh has published more than 200 papers and articles, authored a book on insect sperm competition, and co-edited a volume on dung beetle ecology and evolution. He has had extensive editorial experience with many journals including Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, and Advances in the Study of Behavior, as well as time as the editor-in-chief of Animal Behaviour.

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