Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 619–636 | Cite as

The mating system of a bee fly (Diptera: Bombyliidae). II. Factors affecting male territorial and mating success

  • Gary Dodson
  • David Yeates


Males of an undescribed bombyliidfly (Comptosia sp.)occupy traditional territories on a Southeast Queensland hilltop, to which females come solely for the purpose of mating. Territorial fights between males involve aerial collisions during which modified spines on the wing margins produce scars on the bodies of opponents. Territory owners and mating males are not different in size or age from the remainder of the male population. Although residency is related to fighting success, the strength of the effect is ambiguous. Consequently, our data do not appear to fit predictions from game theoretical models for fighting protocol. Hilltop males lacked the extensive population variation typically found in territorial species, and thus, the presumed advantages of traits such as large size may be suppressed. Hilltop males were larger than males at a nonhilltop, resource-based mating site and the possibility of alternative mating tactics is discussed.

Key words

hilltopping territoriality game theory body size Comptosia Bombyliidae 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Dodson
    • 1
  • David Yeates
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia

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