Mating behavior of a Neotropical arachnid with exclusive paternal care
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- Requena, G.S. & Machado, G. acta ethol (2014) 17: 23. doi:10.1007/s10211-013-0152-6
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Paternal care has independently evolved in several arthropod lineages, but mating interactions have been described in detail for only a few species. Here, we describe the mating behavior of Iporangaia pustulosa, a Neotropical harvestman with exclusive paternal care. We obtained the data under natural conditions, and the results are based on 51 mating interactions. Females performed mate searching exclusively, locating and approaching stationary caring males on the vegetation. Upon arrival, nearly 33 % of the visiting females were promptly attacked and repelled by the males without copulating. We did not observe pre-copulatory courtship, and males, exclusively, performed copulatory courtship. Nearly 30 % of the females that copulated with caring males left the clutches without laying any egg. Finally, several behavioral actions reported here are remarkably similar to those observed in the sex-role-reversed harvestman Zygopachylus albomarginis, for which there is strong evidence of both male and female mate choice. In conclusion, our results provide evidence of male aggressive rejection of mates and female abandonment of clutches without ovipositing, suggesting that individuals of both sexes may evaluate and select mating partners.