Seasonal resource value and male size influence male aggressive interactions in the leaf footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In animal contests, resource value (the quality of a given resource) and resource holding potential (a male's absolute fighting ability) are two important factors determining the level of engagement and outcome of contests. Few studies have tested these factors simultaneously. Here, we investigated whether natural, seasonal differences in cactus phenology (fruit quality) influence interactions between males in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). We also considered whether males were more likely to interact when they were similar in size, as predicted by theory. Finally, we examined if male size relative to the size of an opponent predicted competitive success. We found that males have more interactions on cactus with high value ripe fruit, as we predicted. Further, we found that males that were closer in size were more likely to interact, and larger males were more likely to become dominant.


External organisations
  • University of Florida
Research areas and keywords


  • Aggression, Animals, Body Size, Cactaceae, Fruit, Heteroptera, Male, Seasons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalBehavioural Processes
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

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