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