Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 745–761 | Cite as

Courtship Behavior and Detection of Female Receptivity in the Parasitoid Wasp Urolepis rufipes

  • J. L. Cooper
  • E. R. BurgessIV
  • B. H. KingEmail author


Once a Urolepis rufipes male mounted, the female beat her antennae against his mouth and clypeus. Immediately after he swept his antennae rapidly downward and extruded his mouthparts, her abdomen rose as she opened her genital orifice. Almost simultaneously he backed up for copulation and she folded her antennae against her head. Neither her abdomen rising nor her antennal folding were essential to his backing up as determined from their timing and from experiments in which her abdomen was sealed or her antennae were removed. Females did not open their genital orifice if with a sealed-mouth male; and antennae-removed females did not open even in the few cases where untreated males extruded their mouthparts. Unlike a closely related species, females mounted by sealed-mouth males did not open in response to air from containers of mating pairs.


Courtship mating parasitoid wasp pteromalid receptivity signal 



Thanks to K. Floate’s laboratory for providing starter U. rufipes; to W. Nichols, Jr. for assistance with the colony; to B. Ball for the illustrations; to N. Blackstone, A. Parrin and L. Rosenberg for use of and assistance with video equipment; to two anonymous reviewers; and to N. Blackstone and R. King for feedback on the writing and experimental design.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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