Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 179–185 | Cite as

The role of learning in the mating biology of a sweat bee Lasioglossum zephyrum (Hymenoptera: Halictidae)

  • William T. Wcislo


Results from experiments on the role of learning in the mating biology of a sweat bee, Lasioglossum zephyrum (Hymenoptera: Halictidae), are described in this paper. Male learning of individual female odors is important in natural populations (Table 1), as has been shown in the laboratory. Four other hypotheses are unlikely to account for the observed behavior: (1) Female odors dissipate rapidly; (2) Males learn and then avoid the study area; (3) Males or females produce repellents which are effective against other males; or (4) males recognize their own odor on previously-contacted females, which they subsequently avoid. Regarding questions of “male preference” and “optimal outbreeding,” Tables 2 and 3 show there are no consistent preferences for more novel or less novel female odors.


Natural Population Male Preference Consistent Preference Female Odor Male Learning 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • William T. Wcislo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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