Female Body Size Relationships with Fecundity and Egg Size in two Solitary Species of Fossrial Hymenoptera (Colletidae and Sphecidae)
Larsson, Folke K
Ovarian egg size in the beginning of the nesting cycle and number of surviving offspring per nest are positively correlated to female body size in the solitary bee Colletes cunicularius Linnaeus 1758. Similarly, egg size of the extremely K-selected digger wasp Bembix rostrata Linnaeus 1758 correlates strongly to female body size. On the other hand, large female in this wasp have previously been reported to have a shorter lifespan in some years compared to smaller female. For the bee, in which female body size seems not to affect longevity, the present results suggest a traditional view of a large female fitness and fecundity advantage, originally advanced by Darwin (1871). For the wasp, stabilizing selection for female body size is plausible from a fitness perspective.