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Male mate-locating behavior inEuphydryas chalcedona (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) related to pupation site preferences

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Males of the checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas chalcedona)patrol and perch near but not on the larval foodplant in search of females. Experiments with tethered butterflies show that searching males chase virgin females for longer times than they do mated females or males. The larvae leave the larval food-plant to pupate. The correspondence between the distance from the larval foodplant to pupation sites and where males search for females suggests that male mate-locating behavior has evolved to maximize the rate of encounters with newly emerged, virgin females. These conclusions are compared to a recent analysis of butterfly mating systems by Odendaal et al. (Am. Nat. 125: 673–678, 1985).

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Rutowski, R.L., Gilchrist, G.W. & Terkanian, B. Male mate-locating behavior inEuphydryas chalcedona (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) related to pupation site preferences. J Insect Behav 1, 277–289 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01054526

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Key words

  • mate-locating behavior
  • butterfly
  • Euphydryas chalcedona
  • Lepidoptera
  • pupation sites
  • sexual discrimination