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Mating behavior, sexual selection, and copulatory courtship in a promiscuous beetle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


David Michael Shuker, N Bateson, H Breitsprecher, R O'Donovan, H Taylor, C Barnard, J Behnke, S Collins, F Gilbert

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The function of male movements during copulation is unclear. These movements may be a result of the necessary mechanics of insemination, or they may also have further function, for instance, stimulating or courting a female during mating, perhaps influencing female mate choice. We present data from three experiments exploring the mating behavior and copulatory movements of the highly promiscuous beetle Psilothrix viridicoeruleus. Male mating success in the struggle over mating was not related to male or female size (measured by weight) but successful males were more vigorous in terms of copulatory movements. These males took longer to mount females but copulated longer and remained mounted longer. We discuss these results in terms of the mating system of Psilothrix and also in terms of observations of the timing of insemination during copulation. We suggest that copulatory movements in this species are best understood as copulatory courtship.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-631
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

    Research areas

  • copulatory courtship, sperm competition, sexual selection, Psilothrix, CRYPTIC FEMALE CHOICE, D. SERRATA, INSECTS, DROSOPHILA, SYSTEMS, BIRCHII, SPERM

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