We investigated the courtship and mating behavior of the pan-tropical polyphagous endoparasitoid Aphidius colemani Viereck. The courtship and mating displays, the magnitude of male-male sexual approaches and the role of female-borne cues evoking male courtship behavior were quantified. The sequence of events leading to copulation in this parasitoid did not differ from that found for other braconids. Females refused to copulate more than once. Same-sex courtships were observed among males and their possible role in an adaptive context is discussed. Olfactory female-borne cues played a key role in eliciting the courtship responses of males. Males were attracted by freshly dead females, but not by dead females soaked in hexane, nor by visual cues from females alone. Intense male wing fanning behavior was elicited by crushed abdomens of virgin females, suggesting that the female abdomen is the source of a short-distance pheromone crucial in evoking male courtship. Further studies are required to clarify the exact nature of the chemicals involved.

Visual and olfactory female-borne cues evoke male courtship in the aphid parasitoid Aphidius colemani Viereck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

BENELLI, GIOVANNI;GIUNTI, GIULIA;
2013

Abstract

We investigated the courtship and mating behavior of the pan-tropical polyphagous endoparasitoid Aphidius colemani Viereck. The courtship and mating displays, the magnitude of male-male sexual approaches and the role of female-borne cues evoking male courtship behavior were quantified. The sequence of events leading to copulation in this parasitoid did not differ from that found for other braconids. Females refused to copulate more than once. Same-sex courtships were observed among males and their possible role in an adaptive context is discussed. Olfactory female-borne cues played a key role in eliciting the courtship responses of males. Males were attracted by freshly dead females, but not by dead females soaked in hexane, nor by visual cues from females alone. Intense male wing fanning behavior was elicited by crushed abdomens of virgin females, suggesting that the female abdomen is the source of a short-distance pheromone crucial in evoking male courtship. Further studies are required to clarify the exact nature of the chemicals involved.
Benelli, Giovanni; Giunti, Giulia; Messing, R. H.; Wright, M. G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/669068
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