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Courtship Behaviour, Size Differences Between the Sexes and Oviposition in Some Achrysocharoides Species (Hym., Eulophidae)

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Courtship behaviour of three Achrysocharoides species was observed. No visible differences in the courtship displays of males of these species were apparent. The display consists of a side-to-side rocking movement performed by the male whilst he stands to one side of the female and not as in most chalcids in a mounted position. Mating is also accomplished while the male is alongside the female, but during copulation one set of the male's legs rest on the female's dorsum. A few pairs of A. atys and A. niveipes mated under the conditions provided, but A. cilla did not and A. latreillii males showed no interest in conspecific females. In A. atys the male always moved away from the female immediately after copulation, but A. niveipes males reorientated and performed a short post-copulatory rocking display. Various aspects of the courtship behaviour are discussed, including the possible reason for a post-copulatory display in A. niveipes. Suggestions are made as to how the courtship display of Achrysocharoides males could be species-characteristic and as to why males of some species are larger than conspecific females. It is postulated that the unusual locomotory behaviour of Achrysocharoides may increase the efficiency of host-searching behaviour by females. Females of A. cilla and A. niveipes were observed searching for and ovipositing in hosts. They were found to temporarily paralyse the host larva.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Zoology, University of Manchester, England


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