Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 309–319 | Cite as

Post-Mating Changes in Restlessness, Speed and Route Directness in Males of the Parasitoid Wasp Spalangia endius (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae)

  • B. H. King
  • M. A. Owen


Changes in movement patterns can affect the probability of encountering resources, including mates. This study examined movement in males of the parasitoid wasp Spalangia endius, specifically changes in locomotion after mating that could be responsible for males’ post-mating sexual inhibition to approach a female. In the presence of a female, mated males were faster moving than virgin males, which by itself would make them quicker, not slower, to reach her. However, mated males also tended to be less restless (i.e., spent less of their time locomoting) and their paths were less direct, both of which would make them slower to reach her. In contrast, in the absence of a female, having recently mated had no significant effect on restlessness, speed or path-directness. Thus the post-mating locomotor changes in males appeared not to be intrinsic changes but rather changes in how they responded to females. Video recordings were corrected for aspect ratio prior to analyses.


Circuity courtship conditioning restlessness kinesis locomotion sexual inhibition parasitoid 



We thank C. Geden for the original S. endius; N. Blackstone, A. Parrin, D. Prain, and D. Wallace for access and assistance with software; D. King for feedback on the model and writing; C. R. Fischer for assistance with the colony; and K. Colyott, D. Thomas, J. Niew, T. O’Brien, J. Raya, V. Scola, A. van Pelt and especially A. Coletta for assistance with the experiments and measurements. This research complies with current laws of the USA.


  1. Baker TC, Meyer W, Roelofs WL (1981) Sex pheromone dosage and blend specificity of response by oriental fruit moth males. Entomol Exp Appl 30:269–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bateman AJ (1948) Intra-sexual selection in Drosophila. Heredity 2:349–368PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bell WJ (1991) Searching behaviour. Chapman and Hall, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Charnov EL (1976) Optimal foraging, the marginal value theorem. Theor Pop Biol 9:129–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dewsbury DA (2005) The Darwin-Bateman paradigm in historical context. Integr Comp Biol 45:831–837PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fischer CR, King BH (2008) Sexual inhibition in Spalangia endius males after mating and time for ejaculate replenishment. J Insect Behav 21:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gadenne C, Dufour M, Anton S (2001) Transient post-mating inhibition of behavioural and central nervous responses to sex pheromone in an insect. Proc Roy Soc Lond B 268:1631–1635CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Huck UW, Lisk RD (1986) Mating-induced inhibition of receptivity in the female golden hamster: I. Short-term and long-term effects. Behav Neural Biol 45:107–119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hurtrel B, Thiéry D (1999) Modulation of flight activity in Lobesia botrana Den. & Schiff. (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) females studied in a wind tunnel. J Insect Behav 12:199–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Isaac RE, Li CX, Leedale AE, Shirras AD (2010) Drosophila male sex peptide inhibits siesta sleep and promotes locomotor activity in the post-mated female. Proc Roy Soc B 277:65–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jirotkul M (1999) Operational sex ratio influences female preference and male-male competition in guppies. Anim Behav 58:287–294PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. King BH (1988) Sex ratio manipulation in response to host size by the parasitoid wasp Spalangia cameroni: a laboratory study. Evolution 42:1190–1198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. King BH (2002) Breeding strategies in females of the parasitoid wasp Spalangia endius: effects of mating status and body size. J Insect Behav 15:181–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. King BH (2006) Mate location and the onset of sexual responsiveness in the parasitoid wasp Spalangia endius (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Environ Entomol 35:1390–1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. King BH, Ellison JH (2006) Resource quality affects restlessness in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Entomol Exp Appl 118:71–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. King BH, Fischer CR (2010) Male mating history: effects on female sexual responsiveness and reproductive success in the parasitoid wasp Spalangia endius. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 64:607–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. King BH, Grimm KM, Reno HE (2000) Effects of mating on female locomotor activity in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Environ Entomol 29:927–933CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. King BH, Saporito KB, Ellison JH, Bratzke RM (2005) Unattractiveness of mated females to males in the parasitoid wasp Spalangia endius. Behav Ecol Sociobiol Lin TM, Lee HJ (1998) Parallel control mechanisms underlying locomotor activity and sexual receptivity of the female German cockroach, Blattella germanica (L.). J Insect Physiol 44:1039–1051Google Scholar
  19. Miles DB, Sinervo B, Frankino WA (2000) Reproductive burden, locomotor performance, and the cost of reproduction in free ranging lizards. Evolution 54:1386–1395PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Nichols WJ, Cossé AA, Bartelt RJ, King BH (2010) Methyl 6-methylsalicylate: a female-produced pheromone component of the parasitoid wasp Spalangia endius. J Chem Ecol 36:1140–1147PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pruitt JN, Troupe JE (2010) The effect of reproductive status and situation on locomotor performance and anti-predator strategies in a funnel-web spider. J Zool 281:39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ringo J (1996) Sexual receptivity in insects. Ann Rev Entomol 41:473–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rueda LM, Axtell RC (1985) Guide to common species of pupal parasites (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) of the house fly and other muscoid flies associated with poultry and livestock manure, Tech Bull 278. North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, North Carolina State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  24. Shaffer L, Formanowicz D (1996) A cost of viviparity and parental care in scorpions reduced sprint speed and behavioural compensation. An Behav 51:1017–1023CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Siegel R, Hall J (1979) Conditioned responses in courtship behavior of normal and mutant Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 76:3430–3434PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stephens DW, Krebs JR (1986) Foraging theory. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, USAGoogle Scholar
  27. Trivers RL (1972) Parental investment and sexual selection. In: Campbell BG (ed) Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man, 1871–1971. Aldine, Chicago, pp 136–179Google Scholar
  28. Ureshi M, Sakai M (2001) Location of the reproductive timer in the male cricket Gryllus bimaculatus DeGeer as revealed by local cooling of the central nervous system. J Comp Physiol A 86:1159–1170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. van Alphen JJM, Bernstein C, Driessen G (2003) Information acquisition and time allocation in insect parasitoids. Trends Ecol Evol 18:81–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Veasey J, Houston D, Metcalfe N (2001) A hidden cost of reproduction: the trade-off between clutch size and escape take-off speed in female zebra finches. J An Ecol 70:20–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Visser JH, Avé DA (1978) General green leaf volatiles in the olfactory orientation of the Colorado beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Entomol Exp Appl 24:738–749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wedell N (2005) Female receptivity in butterflies and moths. J Exp Biol 208:3433–3440PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Queens CollegeCity University of New YorkFlushingUSA

Personalised recommendations