Females of manyDrosophila species spread apart their wings prior to copulation. In the present study we found female wing spreading to provoke male copulation attempts inDrosophila virilis-group species, helping the males to attempt copulation when the female is ready to mate. The males of most species, however, rarely responded to female wing spreading by copulation attempt without licking the female genitalia before and/or after female wing spreading bout. Blocking the female genitalia (D. virilis, D. novamexicana) reduces males' tendency to attempt copulation after female wing spreading. In these, and most other species of the group, female wing spreading seems to be an efficient signal only when combined with stimuli from female genitalia.
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Vuoristo, M., Isoherranen, E. & Hoikkala, A. Female wing spreading as acceptance signal in theDrosophila virilis group of species. J Insect Behav 9, 505–516 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02214026
- female behavior