Mating behavior can be a dynamic process that depends upon the insects' environment and condition. We performed a series of experiments to see if isolating individual ladybeetles changed the frequency of mating compared to when they were kept in mixed-sex groups. Our results indicate that individuals isolated for only 1 day were 26 times more likely to mate than individuals kept in a mixed-sex group. Isolation of either sex will increase the propensity to mate, but isolating males had a stronger effect than isolating females. We further demonstrate how isolating could be used as a technique for studying some aspects of mating behavior by showing that there is large variation in the frequency of remating amongst maternal lines.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgement The authors thank Jen White, Chad Harvey, and members of the Andow and Rosenheim labs for their critical reviews and helpful comments. JPH was primarily supported by a grant from the National Center for Environmental Research (NCER) STAR Program, EPA. All experiments comply with the laws of the USA.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Density-dependent behavior
- Mating behavior