Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 321–328 | Cite as

Timing of mate-locating by males in relation to female activity in the carpenter beeXylocopa varipuncta (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

  • John Alcock


Males of the carpenter beeXylocopa varipuncta Patton wait for females to visit them as they hover at landmark territories along ridgelines on some spring afternoons. While hovering, males advertize their presence by releasing a pheromone that attracts passing females. If males have limited time to invest in territorial hovering and signaling, then they should engage in these activities more often at times when mate-searching females are most likely to visit landmark territories. The number of females flying near male territories varies greatly over the course of afternoons and from day to day. Measures of female activity and male territorial activity were highly correlated at one study site, both in terms of changes within afternoons and in terms of day-to-day fluctuations. This result supports the hypothesis that males ofX. varipuncta time their mateattracting behavior to maximize contacts with receptive females.

Key Words

bee mating tactics Xylocopa Hymenoptera Apidae 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Alcock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyArizona State UnivesityTempe

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