Journal of Ethology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 13–18 | Cite as

Mating success in the spittlebug Cercopis sanguinolenta (Scopoli, 1763) (Homoptera, Cercopidae): the role of body size and mobility

  • Robert Biedermann


In insects, a sexual size dimorphism commonly occurs, with larger females. However, as a deviation from this general rule, larger males are found in some species. In these species often sexual selection for large males has been presumed. The spittlebug Cercopis sanguinolenta exhibits a distinct sexual size dimorphism with larger males. Mating behaviour was studied in a field population in respect to mating success of males and females. The aim of this study was to examine the mechanisms that lead to the observed non-random mating pattern. The results showed a mating pattern without size-assortative mating. A correlation was found between mating success and body size in males. In females no such correlation was found. The mobility of males depends on their body size and mobility is high only when females are present. However, in an analysis of covariance it was found that male mating success is not correlated with mobility, when controlled for body size. The mating system of the spittlebug was classified as scramble competition polygyny.

Mating success Body size Mobility Spittlebug Cercopidae Cercopis sanguinolenta 


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Copyright information

© Jpn Ethol Soc and Springer-Verlag 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Biedermann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Oldenburg, Landscape Ecology Group, Department of Biology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, 26111 OldenburgGermany

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