Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 679–706 | Cite as

Mating behavior and thermoregulation of the reindeer warble fly,Hypoderma tarandi L. (Diptera: Oestridae)

  • J. R. Anderson
  • A. C. Nilssen
  • I. Folstad


Hypoderma (=Oedemagena) tarandi L. (Diptera: Oestridae) is characterized by a mating strategy in which both sexes meet and mate at two types of distinct topographical landmarks. In the expansive, treeless vidda (= tundra-like) biome, mating places are unique, rocky areas located along rivers and streams or in rocky areas of drying river and stream beds. In wooded valleys below the vidda, flies mated at certain topographical areas along dirt road tracks/paths. Thermoregulatory activities of males occupying perches at mating places included selection of substratum at perch site, orientation of body to sun's rays, crouching, stilting, and flights into upper cooler air. On warm sunny days males perched for just 1–2 min before flying up into cooler air to promote cooling. Laboratory and field studies revealed that flies could not metabolically cool down when held at 25–38°C. Time spent at mating places depended on temperature, duration of sunshine, and wind velocity. Males were very aggressive in pursuing allHypoderma-sized objects that passed by them or that landed near them, but they did not defend specific perch sites. Males either pursued and caught females in flight, or they hopped onto females that landed near them. During 5 years, 74 males and 14 females were seen at mating places. Dissection of six females caught at mating places revealed them to be recently eclosed flies full of fat body and with all eggs intact; two not paired with males were non-inseminated. Three experimentally paired females remainedin copulo for 10, 13, and 19.5 min.

Key words

Hypoderma tarandi reindeer warble fly mating behavior thermoregulatory behavior 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Anderson
    • 1
  • A. C. Nilssen
    • 2
  • I. Folstad
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Entomological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley
  2. 2.Zoology Department, Tromsø MuseumUniversity of TromsøNorway
  3. 3.Department of EcologyUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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