Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 87–93 | Cite as

Sexual selection and mating system in Zorotypus gurneyi Choe (Insecta : Zoraptera)

I. Dominance hierarchy and mating success
  • Jae C. Choel


Social behavior of a species in the little-known insect order Zoraptera is described for the first time. Zorotypus gurneyi Choe (Insecta: Zoraptera) is a wing-dimorphic species that lives colonially under the bark of rotting logs in central Panama. Males are larger than females in total body size and fight each other to gain access to females. Highly linear and stable dominance hierarchies exist among males. Higher-ranking males show such agonistic behavior as jerking, chasing, head-butting, hindleg-kicking, and grappling, whereas subordinates often try to avoid contacts. Higher-ranking males, the dominant males in particular, are well recognized by others and relatively free of injuries. Although the dominant males are often the largest, the correlation between body size and dominance rank is not always significant. The mating system of Z. gurneyi is an example of female defense polygyny in which the dominant males obtain the majority of matings (75% on average). Mating success among Z. gurneyi males is much more variable than that of some lekking species.

Key words

Dominance Female defense polygyny Lek Mating success Zoraptera Zorotypus gurneyi 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jae C. Choel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Organismic & Evolutionary BiologyThe Biological Laboratories, Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Smithsonian Tropical Research InstituteBalboaRepublic of Panama

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