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Uniquely positioned at the intersection of sexual selection, nutritional ecology and life-history theory, nuptial gifts are widespread and diverse. Despite extensive empirical study, we still have only a rudimentary understanding of gift evolution because we lack a unified conceptual framework for considering these traits. In this opinion piece, we tackle several issues that we believe have substantively hindered progress in this area. Here, we: (i) present a comprehensive definition and classification scheme for nuptial gifts (including those transferred by simultaneous hermaphrodites), (ii) outline evolutionary predictions for different gift types, and (iii) highlight some research directions to help facilitate progress in this field.

Original publication

DOI

10.1098/rsbl.2014.0336

Type

Journal article

Journal

Biol Lett

Publication Date

07/2014

Volume

10

Keywords

sexual conflict, simultaneous hermaphrodite, spermatophore, Animals, Biological Evolution, Copulation, Female, Food, Gift Giving, Male, Reproduction, Sexual Behavior, Animal