Copulatory Courtship with Vibrational Signals

  • Rafael L. RodríguezEmail author
Part of the Animal Signals and Communication book series (ANISIGCOM, volume 6)


Most research on sexual communication with substrate-borne vibrational signals has focused on the early stages of the reproductive process—mate localization and pair formation. Here, I report the results of a literature review that suggests that vibrational signals are commonly used in male–female interactions during and after copulation, either by themselves or in conjunction with tactile courtship. This observation suggests that vibrational signals may function not only in precopulatory mate choice but also in cryptic mate choice. Thus, there is reason for the surreal world of communication with substrate vibrations to join the baroque realm of postcopulatory sexual selection.



I thank Damian Elias, Eileen Hebets, and George Uetz for advice on the literature on spider vibrational communication touching on copulation behavior. I also thank Camille Desjonquères and Gerlinde Höbel for constructive comments on the manuscript. Financial support was provided by a Research Growth Initiative grant from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioral and Molecular Ecology Group, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

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