Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 227–245 | Cite as

Mating Behavior of Cephalonomia tarsalis (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) and the Effect of Female Mating Frequency on Offspring Production

  • Ling-lan Cheng
  • Ralph W. Howard
  • James F. Campbell
  • Ralph E. Charlton
  • James R. Nechols
  • Sonny B. Ramaswamy


The courtship behavior of Cephalonomia tarsalis, a solitary semiectoparasitoid of Oryzaephilus surinamensis, was investigated in the laboratory. Courtship behavior includes a series of stereotypic movements. Males play the most active role, executing the majority of courtship action, and females respond with relatively limited observable behaviors. Males typically keep antennae still during encounters with females prior to mounting, which may be correlated with recognition of the female's sexual status. After mounting, males display a series of movements on females, such as antennae touching female's antennae, antennae or mouth touching female's head or thorax, and walking around on female, which may serve to stimulate females towards increased receptivity. Females signal receptivity by assuming a stereotypical posture of remaining stationary, with head down, and antennae still in front of the body. The male then inserts his aedeagus and the pair copulates. After an average of 40.4 s of copulation, females signal the end of copulation by waving the antennae and moving away from the copulation site. Males continue copulating for a short time after females start moving but dismount soon thereafter. After dismounting, the two wasps move away from each other immediately, and they typically begin grooming. Neither males nor females exhibit mating preference based on mate's mating status in both choice and no-choice tests. The male is polygynous and the mated female can mate multiple times within the first 3 days after starting oviposition. However, female mating frequency does not affect the production of female progeny.

saw-toothed grain beetle parasitoids courtship mating preference mating frequency biological control 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ling-lan Cheng
    • 1
  • Ralph W. Howard
    • 2
  • James F. Campbell
    • 2
  • Ralph E. Charlton
    • 1
  • James R. Nechols
    • 1
  • Sonny B. Ramaswamy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyKansas State UniversityManhattan
  2. 2.Biological Research UnitGrain Marketing & Production Research CenterManhattan

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