Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 333–342

Effect of body size on swarming behavior and mating success of maleAnopheles freeborni (Diptera: Culicidae)

  • B. Yuval
  • J. W. Wekesa
  • R. K. Washino


We examined whether body size affects the swarming behavior and mating success of male Anopheles freeborninear California rice fields. Swarms formed after dusk and persisted for approximately 30 min. The proportion of males in 33 swarms sampled n=6028ranged from 100 to 92% but decreased over time (r=0.73, t=6.03, P<0.001).On average, swarming males (n=1058) were larger than males sampled from the resting population (n=735, H=35.6, P<0.0001),indicating that some males never swarm at all. Males swarming early were significantly smaller than those swarming during the peak (H=6.71, P=0.009)or final minutes of the swarm (H=4.86, P=0.002). Mated males returned to the swarm after mating, and larger males enjoyed greater mating success than did smaller ones (n=398, H=16.1, P=0.0005).

Key words

Anopheles Culicidae sexual behavior mating system 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker, R. H., Reisen, W. K., Sakai, R. K., Rathor, H. R., Raana, K., Azra, K., and Niaz, S. (1980).Anopheles culicifacies: Mating behavior and competitiveness in nature of males carrying a complex chromosomal aberration.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 73: 581–588.Google Scholar
  2. Blaney, W. M., Schoonhoven, L. M., and Simmonds, M. S. J. (1986). Sensitivity variations in insect chemoreceptors: A review.Experientia 42: 13–19.Google Scholar
  3. Bock, M. E., Reisen, W. K., and Milby, M. M. (1983). Lifetime mating patterns of laboratory adaptedCulex tarsalis males.Mosq. News 43: 350–354.Google Scholar
  4. Charlwood, J. D., and Jones, M. D. R. (1980). Mating in the mosquitoAnopheles gambiae s.1. II. Swarming behaviour.Physiol. Entomol. 5: 315–320.Google Scholar
  5. Downes, J. A. (1969). The swarming and mating flight of Diptera.Annu. Rev. Entomol. 14: 271–298.Google Scholar
  6. Fish, D. (1985). An analysis of adult size variation within natural mosquito populations. In Lounibos, L. P., Rey, J. R., and Frank, J. H. (eds.),Ecology of Mosquitoes, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, pp. 419–430.Google Scholar
  7. Harwood, R. F. (1964). Physiological factors associated with male swarming of the mosquitoCulex tarsalis Coq.Mosq. News. 24: 320–325.Google Scholar
  8. Klowden, M. K., Blackmer, J. L., and Chambers, G. M. (1986). Effects of larval nutrition on host-seeking behavior of adultAedes aegypti mosquitoes.J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc. 3: 73–75.Google Scholar
  9. Knop, N. F., Asman, S. M., Reisen, W. K., and Milby, M. M. (1987). Changes in the biology ofCulex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) associated with colonization under contrasting regimes.Environ. Entomol. 16: 405–414.Google Scholar
  10. Mahmood, F. and Reisen, W. K. (1982).Anopheles stephensi (Diptera: Culicidae): Changes in male mating competence and reproductive system morphology associated with aging and mating.J. Med. Entomol. 19: 573–588.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Mahmood, F., Parveen, T., and Reisen, W. K. (1986).Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles: Changes in male mating competence and reproductive morphology associated with age and mating experience.Pakistan J. Zool. 18: 273–296.Google Scholar
  12. Marchand, R. P. (1984). Field observations on swarming and mating inAnopheles gambiae mosquitoes in Tanzania.Neth. J. Zool. 34: 367–387.Google Scholar
  13. McLachlan, A., and Neems, R. (1989). An alternative mating system in small male insects.Ecol. Entomol. 14: 85–91.Google Scholar
  14. Nasci, R. S. (1986). Relationship between adult mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) body size and parity in field populations.Environ. Entomol. 15: 874–876.Google Scholar
  15. Neems, R. M., McLachlan, A. J., and Chambers, R. (1990). Body size and lifetime mating success of male midges (Diptera: Chironomidae).Anim. Behav. 40: 648–652.Google Scholar
  16. Nielsen, E. T., and Haeger, J. S. (1960). Swarming and mating in mosquitoes.Misc. Pub. Entomol. Soc. Am. 1: 72–95.Google Scholar
  17. Packer, M. J., and Corbet, P. S. (1989). Size variation and reproductive success of femaleAedes punctor (Diptera, Culicidae).Ecol. Entomol. 14: 297–309.Google Scholar
  18. Quarishi, M. S., and Arthur, M. (1963). Mating behaviorof Anopheles stephensi.Nature 197: 312–313.Google Scholar
  19. Reisen, W. K. (1985). Male mating competitiveness: The key to some problems associated with the genetic control of mosquitoes. In Lounibos, L. P., Rey, J. R., and Frank, J. H. (eds.),Ecology of Mosquitoes, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, pp. 348–358.Google Scholar
  20. Reisen, W. K., Asman, Y., and Siddiqui, T. F. (1977). Observations on swarming and mating of some Pakistan mosquitoes in nature.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 70: 988–995.Google Scholar
  21. Reisen, W. K., Baker, R. H., Sakai, R. K., Mahmood, F., Rathor, H. R., Rana, K., and Toquir, G. (1981).Anopheles culicifacies Giles: Mating behavior and competitiveness in nature of chemosterilized males carrying a genetic sexing system.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 74: 395–401.Google Scholar
  22. Reisen, W. K., Sakai, R. K., Baker, R. H., Azra, K., and Niaz, S. (1982).Anopheles culicifacies: observations on population ecology and reproductive behavior.Mosq. News. 42: 93–101.Google Scholar
  23. Shuster, S. M., and Wade, M. J. (1991). Equal mating success among male reproductive strategies in a marine isopod.Nature 350: 608–610.Google Scholar
  24. Slooten, E., and Lambert, D. M. (1984). Evolutionary studies of the New Zealand coastal mosquitoOpifex fuscus (Hutton) II. Competition for mates.Behaviour 85: 1–12.Google Scholar
  25. Thornhill, R. (1980). Sexual selection within mating swarms of the lovebug,Plecia nearctica (Diptera: Bibionidae).Anim. Behav. 28: 405–412.Google Scholar
  26. Thornhill, R., and Alcock, J. (1983).The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  27. Yuval, B., Wekesa, J. W., and Washino, R. K. (1992). Swarming and mating inAnopheles freeborni: Preliminary observations and methods for field studies.Proc. Calif. Mosq. Vector Control Assoc. 60: 76–81.Google Scholar
  28. Zar, J. H. (1984).Biostatistical Analysis, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Yuval
    • 1
  • J. W. Wekesa
    • 1
  • R. K. Washino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis

Personalised recommendations