Sexual selection can lead to rapid divergence in reproductive characters. Recent studies have indicated that postmating events, such as sperm precedence, may play a key role in speciation. Here, we stress that other components of postmating sexual selection may be involved in the evolution of reproductive isolation. One of these is the reproductive investment made by females after mating (i.e., differential allocation). We performed an experiment designed to assess genetic divergence in the effects of mating on female reproductive performance in flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum. Females were mated to males of three different wild-type genotypes at two different frequencies, in all possible reciprocal combinations. Male genotype affected all aspects of female reproduction, through its effects on female longevity, total offspring production, reproductive rate, mating rate, and fertility. Moreover, male and female genotype interacted in their effects on offspring production and reproductive rate. We use the pattern of these interactions to discuss the evolutionary process of divergence and suggest that the pattern is most consistent with that expected if divergence was driven by sexually antagonistic coevolution. In particular, the fact that females exhibited a relatively weak response to males with which they were coevolved suggests that females have evolved resistance to male gonadotropic signals/stimuli.
Corresponding Editor: M. Noor