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Model of kleptoparasitism in the Onthophagus taurus: when to enter and leave a dung pat

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Heather Ann Allmond (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Jan Rychtar

Abstract: The female dung beetle Onthophagus taurus will sometimes engage in an extreme form of kleptoparasitism by stealing the brood ball of another female beetle, destroying the existing eggs, and replacing their own egg in the brood ball. Beetles will sometimes guard the brood balls they produce to prevent this. But guarding is a time consuming behavior that is not always beneficial. We develop a game theoretic model to determine when a dung beetle should enter and leave a dung pat and when a beetle should steal. We determine the fitness, or reproductive success, of each strategy. We show that no Evolutionary Stable Strategy exists among our strategies. We investigate long term evolution of a population under discrete replicator dynamics.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Dung beetle, Evolutionary stable strategy, Game theory, Kleptoparasitism, Model, Replicator dynamics
Subjects
Parasitism $x Mathematical models.
Dung beetles $x Ecology.
Scarabaeidae.
Game theory.