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Courtship behavior of the mosquitoSabethes cyaneus (Diptera: Culicidae)

Abstract

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.

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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

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Key words

  • mosquitoes
  • Sabethes cyaneus
  • courtship
  • mating behavior
  • copulation