Journal of Ethology

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 279–283 | Cite as

Effects of density experience on mate guarding behavior by adult male Kanzawa spider mites

  • Keiko OkuEmail author


In the Kanzawa spider mite, Tetranychus kanzawai (Acari: Tetranychidae), adult males guard pre-reproductive quiescent females. I experimentally examined the effects of density experience during development and/or after adult emergence on precopulatory mate guarding behavior by T. kanzawai males. Mate guarding behavior was modified by density experience after adult emergence. When males had previously experienced high density after adult emergence (n = 71), 73.2% of them engaged in precopulatory mate guarding. In contrast, when males had previously experienced low density after adult emergence (n = 82), 61.0% of them did not guard females. Mate guarding with physical contact occurred more frequently when males had previously experienced a high density of potential rivals than when they had not, but the difference in behavior between the two groups of males was marginally not significant. Nevertheless, these results suggest overall that T. kanzawai males change mate guarding behavior in response to previously experienced density.


Adult male Density Precopulatory mate guarding Quiescent deutonymph female Tetranychid mite 



I thank Dr. P.W. de Jong of Wageningen University for his critical reading of this manuscript. I also thank Dr. S. Yano of Kyoto University, Dr. T. Mitsunaga of the National Agricultural Research Center, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments and encouragement. This study was partly supported by the fund from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for Young Scientists (no. 4537).


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Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology, Graduate School of Environmental ScienceOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of EntomologyWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.National Agricultural Research CenterIbarakiJapan

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