Journal Article Previous mating experience increases fighting success during male-male contests in the hermit crab Pagurus nigrofascia

Yasuda, Chiaki I.  ,  Matsuo, Kento  ,  Wada, Satoshi

69 ( 8 )  , pp.1287 - 1292 , 2015-08 , Springer
Prior social experience often affects subsequent competitive interactions and their outcomes. Although the effects of prior contest experience have been widely examined, effects of mating experience remain less well examined. We examined, in males of the hermit crab Pagurus nigrofascia, whether males successively copulated with more than one female and whether males with copulation experience differed in their subsequent contest behaviors and probability of winning in male-male contests compared to males without copulation experience. The copulation experience of intruders was manipulated and the contest behaviors compared between mated and unmated groups. Males mated with several females regardless of the male body size. Compared with unmated intruders, intruders with mating experience succeeded more often in taking over females and did so within a shorter period particularly when the male-male contests occurred over females with a long time to molt. These results suggest that mated males of P. nigrofascia overestimate the female quality and/or enhance the competitive performance similar to the "winner effect" that is a positive feedback from prior winning experience to future contests.

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