Skip to main content
Log in

Temporal dynamics of mating and predation in mosquito swarms

  • Original Papers
  • Published:
Oecologia Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

We determined the numbers of copulations and predatory attacks in swarms ofAnopheles freeborni (Diptera: Culicidae), and the distribution of these events throughout the duration of the swarming period each day. On 19 evenings of observation, we recorded 2724 copulating pairs leaving swarms and 1351 dragonfly (Pantala hymenaea andErythemis collocata) attacks. Mating activity partially coincided with predator activity. Most copulations occurred between 10 and 20 min after the swarms formed, while predation events were most frequent during the initial 15 min of the swarm. We calculated the ratio of copulations to predatory attacks during the swarming period. This ratio was significantly higher in an area sheltered by trees than it was in the open. We suggest that physiological and ecological constraints other than predation operate on the mating system of this anopheline to affect the timing of swarm initiation and swarm site selection.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Allan JD, Flecker AS (1989) The mating biology of a mass-swarming mayfly. Anim Behav 37:361–371

    Google Scholar 

  • Blaney WM, Schoonhoven LM, Simmonds MSJ (1986) Sensitivity variations in insect chemoreceptors: a review. Experientia 42:13–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Bouskila A, Blumstein DT (1992) Rules of thumb for predation hazard assessment-predictions from a dynamic model. Amer Nat 139:161–176

    Google Scholar 

  • Charlwood JD, Jones MDR (1980) Mating in the mosquitoAnopheles gambiae s.l. II. Swarming behaviour. Physiol Entomol 5:315–320

    Google Scholar 

  • Cooter RJ (1989) Swarm flight behavior in flies and locusts. In: Goldsworthy GJ, Wheeler CH (eds.) Insect Flight. CRC Press, Boca Raton Florida, pp. 165–203

    Google Scholar 

  • Corbet PS (1963) A biology of dragonflies. H.F. and G. Witherby Ltd. London

    Google Scholar 

  • Downes JA (1969) The swarming and mating flight of Diptera. Annu Rev Entomol 14:271–298

    Google Scholar 

  • Ende CN von (1993) Repeated-measures analysis: Growth and other time-dependent measures. In: Scheiner S, Gurevitch J (eds) The design and analysis of experiments. Chapman and Hall, New-York

    Google Scholar 

  • Flecker AS, Allan JD, McClintock NL (1988) Male body size and mating success in swarms of the mayflyEpeorus longimanus. Holarc Ecol 11:280–285

    Google Scholar 

  • Foster WA, Treherne JE (1981) Evidence for the dilution effect in the selfish herd from fish predation on a marine insect. Nature 293:466–467

    Google Scholar 

  • Gibson G (1985) Swarming behavior of the mosquitoCulex pipiens quinquefasciatus: a quantitative analysis. Physiol Entomol 10:283–296

    Google Scholar 

  • Harwood RF (1964) Physiological factors associated with male swarming of the mosquitoCulex tarsalis Coq. Mosq. News 24:320–325

    Google Scholar 

  • Krebs JR, Davies NB (1987) An introduction to behavioral ecology. 2nd. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland

    Google Scholar 

  • Marchand RP (1984) Field observations on swarming and mating inAnopheles gambiae mosquitoes in Tanzania. Neth J Zool 34:367–387

    Google Scholar 

  • McLachlan A, Neems R (1989) An alternative mating system in small male insects. Ecol Entomol 14:85–91

    Google Scholar 

  • Neems RM, Lazarus J, Mclachlan AJ (1992) Swarming behavior in male chironomid midges: a cost-benefit analysis. Behav Ecol 3:285–290

    Google Scholar 

  • Neems RM, McLachlan AJ, Chambers R (1990) Body size and lifetime mating success of male midges (Diptera: Chironomidae). Anim Behav 40: 648–652

    Google Scholar 

  • Nielsen ET, Greve H (1950) Studies on the swarming habits of mosquitoes and other Nematocera. Bull Ent Res 41:227–258

    Google Scholar 

  • Nielsen ET, Haeger JS (1960) Swarming and mating in mosquitoes. Miscell Publ Entomol Soc Am 1:72–95

    Google Scholar 

  • Nielsen HT, Nielsen ET (1962) Swarming of mosquitoes, laboratory experiments under controlled conditions. Entomol Exp Appl 5:14–32

    Google Scholar 

  • O'Brien RG, Kaiser MK (1985) MANOVA method for analyzing repeated measures designs: an extensive primer. Psychol Bull 97:316–333

    Google Scholar 

  • Parker GA (1978) The evolution of competitive mate searching. Annu Rev Entomol 23:176–196

    Google Scholar 

  • Petersson E (1989) Age-associated male mating success in three swarming caddis fly species (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae). Ecol Entomol 14:335–340

    Google Scholar 

  • Petersson E (1990) Male age, copulation duration and insemination success inMystacides azurea (Leptoceridae, Trichoptera). Ethology 85:156–162

    Google Scholar 

  • Reisen WK, Asman Y, Siddiqui TF (1977) Observations on swarming and mating of some Pakistan mosquitoes in nature. Ann Entomol Soc Am 70:988–995

    Google Scholar 

  • Rowland M (1989) Changes in the circadian flight activity of the mosquitoAnopheles stephensi associated with insemination, blood-feeding, oviposition and nocturnal light intensity. Physiol Entomol 14:77–84

    Google Scholar 

  • Samways MJ, Caldwell P (1989) Flight behavior and mass feeding swarms ofPantala flavescens (Fabricius) (Odonata: Anisoptera: Libellulidae). J Ent Soc Sth Afr 52:326–327

    Google Scholar 

  • Sih A (1992) Prey uncertainty and the balancing of antipredator and feeding needs. Am Nat 139:1052–1069

    Google Scholar 

  • Sullivan RT (1981) Insect swarming and mating. Florida Entomologist 64:44–65

    Google Scholar 

  • Svensson BG, Petersson E (1992) Why insects swarm: testing the models for lek mating systems onEmpis borealis females. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 31:253–261

    Google Scholar 

  • Thornhill R (1980) Sexual selection within mating swarms of the lovebug,Plecia neartica (Diptera: Bibionidae). Anim Behav 28:405–412

    Google Scholar 

  • Thornhill R, Alcock J (1983) The evolution of insect mating systems. Harvard University Press Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • Wharton RH (1953) The habits of adult mosquitoes in Malaya. IV. Swarming of anophelines in nature. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 47:285–290

    Google Scholar 

  • Wrona FJ, Dixon WJ (1991) Group size and predation risk: a field analysis of encounter and dilution effects. Am Nat 137:186–201

    Google Scholar 

  • Yuval B, Wekesa W, Washino RK (1993) Effect of body size on swarming behavior and mating success of maleAnopheles freeborni (Diptera: Culicidae). J Insect Behav 6:333–342

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yuval, B., Bouskila, A. Temporal dynamics of mating and predation in mosquito swarms. Oecologia 95, 65–69 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00649508

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00649508

Key words

Navigation