Mating Behavior of Malacosoma Disstria at Two Levels of Mate Competition
AbstractDuring a 3-year field study 2 levels of mate competition were observed in Malacosoma disstria Hubner, the forest tent caterpillar. Levels were indicated by the mean number per year of male attempts to mate females which were already in copula (interference rate). Sex ratio at emergence and population density probably determined interference rates. In the low level of mate competition, matings started late in the day and were short in duration, with some males terminating matings. In contrast, at the high level, matings began earlier and ended later with some females rejecting males and some males prolonging matings. The greater mate competition reflected a higher operational sex ratio, which probably increased the likelihood of some males finding females earlier and enhanced opportunities for females to be selective. Furthermore, the chance of sperm competition would be greater and prolonged matings were likely responses to this. Male terminated matings probably were responses to low chance of sperm competition.
Copyright for any article published in Florida Entomologist is held by the author(s) of the article. Florida Entomologist follows terms of the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial License (cc by-nc). By submitting and publishing articles in Florida Entomologist, authors grant the FOJ and Florida Entomologist's host institutions permission to make the article available through Internet posting and electronic dissemination, and to otherwise archive the information contained both electronically and in a hard printed version. When used, information and images obtained from articles must be referenced and cited appropriately. Articles may be reproduced for personal, educational, or archival purposes, or any non-commercial use. Permission should be sought from the author(s) for multiple, non-commercial reproduction. Written permission from the author(s) is required for any commercial reproduction.