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Test of the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis Hetaerina longipes (Odonata: Calopterygidae)

Grant number: 16/12004-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2016
Effective date (End): November 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal Investigator:Rhainer Guillermo Nascimento Ferreira
Grantee:Gabrielle Cristina Pestana
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


To ensure their reproductive success, males of several animal species invest energy resources for the production and maintenance of sexual ornaments, since in sexual selection they are indicators of individual quality. This factor becomes dependent on the physiological condition of the animal, generating trade-offs in the investment in ornaments and other characters such as immunity and fertility. The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis (ICHH) proposes that the development of secondary sexual traits and sperm have a common denominator in the equation that involves investment in immune function. Therefore, this study aims to test the ICHH in Hetaerina longipes analyzing the correlation between sexual ornaments, immunity and fertility in males and acquiring greater knowledge about the ecology and behavior of this species. Female preference for male ornaments will be assessed through behavioral observations using the focal animal method. Fertility will be measured by applying a Sperm Viability Kit (Sigma Aldricht). The sexual ornament will be analyzed by measuring wing pigmentation using digital photographs. The immune response will be verified by encapsulating a nylon filament inserted into the abdomen, simulating thus a parasitic infection. All data will be transformed into logarithm and analyzed with General Linear Models (GLM). This project is intended to contribute to the body of literature on this hypothesis that has little evidence to date. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PESTANA, GABRIELLE CRISTINA; CAROMANO, THAIS GIANOTTI; FERREIRA, RHAINER GUILLERMO. Sexual ornamentation triggers rival aggressiveness in the Neotropical damselfly Hetaerina longipes (Odonata: Calopterygidae). ODONATOLOGICA, v. 47, n. 1-2, p. 121-132, . (16/12004-9)
PESTANA, GABRIELLE CRISTINA; MATEUS-BARROS, ERICK; GUILLERMO-FERREIRA, RHAINER. The influence of parent body colouration and nesting habitat on bird nest predation. BIRD STUDY, v. 67, n. 1, . (16/12004-9)
TAVARES, RAFAEL I. S.; PESTANA, GABRIELLE C.; ROCHA, ALANA D.; SCHIAVONE, DANIELE C.; GUILLERMO-FERREIRA, RHAINER. Come to the dark side: habitat selection of larval odonates depends on background visual patterns. ECOLOGICAL ENTOMOLOGY, v. 43, n. 5, p. 640-646, . (16/12004-9)

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