Mate availability contributes to maintain the mixed-mating system in a scolytid beetle

D. Gottlieb, J. P. Holzman, Y. Lubin, A. Bouskila, S. T. Kelley, A. R. Harari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the mating system and population genetic structure of the beetle, Coccotrypes dactyliperda, with life history characteristics that suggest the presence of a stable mixed-mating system. We examined the genetic structure of seven populations in Israel and found significant departures from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and an excess of homozygosity. Inbreeding coefficients were highly variable across populations, suggesting that low levels of outbreeding occur in nature. Experiments were conducted to determine whether the observed high inbreeding in these populations is the result of a reproductive assurance strategy. Females reared in the laboratory took longer to mate with males from the same population (inbreeding) than with males from a different population (outbreeding). These results suggest that females delayed inbreeding, and were more inclined to outbreed when possible. Thus inbreeding, which predominates in most populations, may be due to a shortage of mates for outbreeding rather than a preference for inbreeding. We conclude that C. dactyliperda has a mixed-mating system that may be maintained by a reproductive assurance strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1526-1534
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Evolutionary Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Bark beetles
  • Coccotrypes dactyliperda
  • Dispersal
  • F
  • Inbreeding
  • Microsatellites
  • Population genetics
  • Reproductive assurance strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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