Tribolium beetles have evolved over several thousand years to colonize and exploit various food products that vary widely in their nutritional quality. Here Tribolium castaneum was used as a model organism to explore the effect of nutritional quality on male development and reproduction. The results showed, when tested across different qualities of nutritional diets, Tribolium males developed faster and their body size was larger on a high-quality diet, and there were significant correlations between male developmental traits. However, Tribolium males fed different nutritional diets did not show significant variation in olfactory attractiveness, mating rate, insemination rate, sperm defense (P1), sperm offense (P2), and reproductive success within a population context (RSPC). Moreover, there was no significant correlation of male reproductive performances except RSPC with developmental traits, and except for P2 and RSPC, no significant correlations between male reproductive performances. Therefore, although male developmental performance was significantly influenced by diet quality, reproductive performance was not. We discussed these findings and their sexual selection implications in light of its habitat.
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Vol. 105 • No. 4