Unlike any other mosquito reported, Sabethes cyaneus(Fabricius) displays an elaborate courtship before and during copulation. A male approaches a female suspended from a horizontal stick, suspends himself in front of her as he grasps her folded wings, and proceeds with a series of discrete stereotyped behaviors that involve proboscis vibration and movement of iridescent blue paddles on his midlegs. The sequence of these behaviors is as follows: freeleg waving, swinging, copulation attempt, superficial coupling, waving, genital shift, waggling, and release. Insemination occurs after genital shift. The only overt reciprocation by the female is abdomen lowering during the male's swinging. Courtship is often unsuccessful, and males are usually rejected during freeleg waving. The relation between male performance and mating success remains obscure.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Anderson, J. R. (1974). Symposium on reproduction of arthropods of medical and veterinary importance. II. Meeting of the sexes.J. Med. Entomol. 11: 7–19.
Bastock, M. (1967).Courtship, An Ethological Study, Aldine, Chicago.
Belton, P. (1974). An analysis of direction finding in male mosquitoes. In Barton Browne, L. (ed.),Experimental Analysis of Insect Behaviour, Springer-Verlag, New York, pp. 139–148.
Charlwood, J. D., and Jones, M. D. R. (1979). Mating behaviour in the mosquitoAnopheles gambiae s. l. I. Close range and contact behaviour.Physiol. Entomol. 4: 111–120.
Conner, W. E., and Itagaki, H. (1984). Pupal attendance in the crabhole mosquitoDeinocerites cancer: The effect of pupal age and sex.Physiol. Entomol. 9: 263–267.
Downes, J. A. (1966). Observations on the mating behaviour of the crab hole mosquitoDeinocerites cancer (Diptera: Culicidae).Can. Entomol. 98: 1169–1177.
Eberhard, W. G. (1985).Sexual Selection and Animal Genitalia, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Frank, J. H., and Curtis, G. A. (1977). On the bionomics of bromeliad-inhabiting mosquitoes. V. A mark-release-recapture technique for estimation of population size ofWyeomyia vanduzeei.Mosq. News 37: 444–452.
Galindo, P. (1958). Bionomics ofSabethes chloropterus Humboldt, a vector of sylvan yellow fever in middle America.Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 7: 429–440.
Galindo, P., Carpenter, S. J., and Trapido, H. (1951). Ecological observations on forest mosquitoes of an endemic yellow fever area in Panama.Am. J. Trop. Med. 31: 98–137.
Gillett, J. D. (1958). The laboratory colonisation of the mosquito,Eretmapodites chrysogaster Grah.Bull. Entomol. Res. 49: 287–290.
Gillett, J. D. (1972).The Mosquito: Its Life, Activities, and Impact on Human Affairs, Doubleday, New York.
Haddow, A. J., and Corbet, P. S. (1961). Entomological studies from a high tower in Mpanga Forest, Uganda. V. Swarming activity above the forest.Trans. Roy. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 113: 284–300.
Haeger, J. S., and Phinizee, J. (1959). The biology of the crab-hole mosquitoDeinocerites cancer Theobald.Rep. Fla. Anti-mosq. Assoc. 30: 34–37.
Haeger, J. S., and Provost, M. W. (1965). Colonization and biology ofOpifex fuscus. Trans. Roy. Soc. New Zeal.6: 21–31.
Haramis, L. D., and Foster, W. A. (1983). Survival and population density ofAedes triseriatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in a woodlot in central Ohio, USA.J. Med. Entomol. 20: 391–398.
Jones, J. C., and Wheeler, R. E. (1965). An analytical study of coitus inAedes aegypti (Linnaeus).J. Morphol. 117: 401–424.
Lane, J. (1953).Neotropical Culicidae, Vol. II, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo.
Lang, J. T. (1977). Contact sex pheromone in the mosquitoCuliseta inornata (Diptera: Culicidae).J. Med. Entomol. 14: 448–454.
Lang, J. T., and Foster, W. A. (1976). Is there a female sex pheromone in the mosquitoCuliseta inornata?Environ. Entomol.5: 1109–1115.
Lemon, R. E., and Chatfield, C. (1971). Organization of song in cardinals.Anim. Behav. 19: 1–17.
Manning, A. (1965).Drosophila and the evolution of behaviour.Viewpoints Biol. 4: 125–164.
Manning, A. (1966). Sexual behaviour. In Haskell (ed.),Insect Behaviour, Symp. Roy. Entomol. Soc. Lond., pp. 59–68.
Morris, D. J. (1956). The function and causation of courtship ceremonies. In Grass, P. P. (ed.),L'Instinct dans le Comportement des Animaux et de L'Homme, Masson & Cie., Paris, pp. 261–287.
Nielsen, E. T., and Haeger, J. S. (1960). Swarming and mating in mosquitoes.Misc. Publ. Entomol. Soc. Am. 1: 71–95.
Nijhout, H. F., and Craig, G. B., Jr. (1971). Reproductive isolation inStegomyia mosquitoes. III. Evidence for a sexual pheromone.Entomol. Exp. Appl. 14: 399–412.
Provost, W. W., and Haeger, J. S. (1967). Mating and pupal attendance inDeinocerites cancer and comparisons withOpifex fuscus (Diptera: Culicidae).Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 60: 565–574.
Shannon, R. C. (1931). On the classification of Brazilian Culicidae with special reference to those capable of harboring the yellow fever virus.Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 33: 125–164.
Slater, P. J. B. (1973). Describing sequences of behavior. In Bateson, P. P. G., and Klopfer, P. H. (eds.),Perspectives in ethology, Plenum Press, New York, Vol. 1, pp. 131–153.
Sokal, R. R., and Rohlf, J. (1981).Biometry, 2nd ed., Freeman, San Francisco.
Spielman, A. (1964). The mechanics of copulation inAedes aegypti. Biol. Bull.127: 324–344.
Sustare, B. D. (1978). Systems diagrams. In Colgan, P. W. (ed.),Quantitative Ethology, Wiley, New York, pp. 275–311.
Thornhill, R., and Alcock, J. (1983).The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.
West-Eberhard, M. J. (1984). Sexual selection, competitive communication and species-specific signals in insects. In Lewis, T. (ed.),Insect Communication, Symp. Roy. Entomol. Soc. Lond., pp. 283–324.
White, T. F. (1978).Larval Diapause in an Ohio Strain of Wyeomyia smithii (Coquillett) with Certain Comparisons with Aedes triseriatus (Say), M.S. thesis, Ohio State University, Columbus.
About this article
Cite this article
Hancock, R.G., Foster, W.A. & Yee, W.L. Courtship behavior of the mosquitoSabethes cyaneus (Diptera: Culicidae). J Insect Behav 3, 401–416 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01052117
- Sabethes cyaneus
- mating behavior