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Volume 2013, Article ID 859835, 5 pages
Research Article

Does Experience Affect the Outcome of Male-Male Contests in the Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus quadripunctatus?

Ecology & Systematics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-8589, Japan

Received 20 May 2013; Accepted 13 November 2013

Academic Editor: Donald M. Windsor

Copyright © 2013 Seizi Suzuki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The bigger individual in a fight usually wins unless the smaller individual is a resident or has recently won a fight. I conducted three experiments on the effects of body size, residency, and fight history on the outcome of male-male fights in a burying beetle. Fights were staged between an intruding male and the male of a male-female pair. When males differed in size, the larger male usually won regardless of residency or individual fight histories. Residents and winners of previous fights won only when competing males were similar in size. Hence, male body size largely determines the outcomes of fights in this beetle.