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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Cheng, Ling-lan
item Howard, Ralph
item Campbell, James - Jim
item Charlton, Ralph
item Nechols, James
item Ramaswamy, Sonny

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2003
Publication Date: 6/30/2004
Citation: Cheng, L., Howard, R.W., Campbell, J.F., Charlton, R.E., Nechols, J.R., Ramaswamy, S. 2004. Behavioral interactions between males of cephalonomia tarsalis (ashmead)(hymenoptera: bethylidae) competing for females. Journal of Insect Behavior. V. 16: 625-645.

Interpretive Summary: The competitive courtship behaviors of males of a parasitic wasp used in the biological control of the stored product pest, the sawtoothed grain beetle, are described. Females mate several times within the first three days of their adult life, and all males are able to mate with them. Contrary to expectations, large males were not more successful at mating than were small males. Such information will be useful in designing biological control programs with this parasitic wasp.

Technical Abstract: Male Cephalonomia tarsalis (Ashmead) compete with one another for mates. The behavioral interactions between males for mates occur both on- and off-females. Males do not exhibit post copulatory mate-guarding behaviors, and females accept second matings with the losing males. The duration of copulation when a second male is present is shorter than when only one male is present. However, females receive sufficient sperm for their life-time female progeny production in copulations disrupted artifically at 10 seconds (~1/5 of regular copulation duration) under normal non-competition situations. This suggests that shorter copulations because of male-male competition could result in sperm transfer. Larger males were not more successful in competition than small males, but male competitive ability decreased with age.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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