Absence makes the heart grow fonder: Isolation enhances the frequency of mating in Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Jason P. Harmon, Andrea Hayden, David Andow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding 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:
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Coccinellid
  • Density-dependent behavior
  • Mating behavior
  • Polyandry

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