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Behavioural Interaction Between Sexually Experienced Culicoides Melleus (Coquillett) (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae)

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image of Behaviour

The sexual behaviour of sexually experienced Culicoides melleus males has been investigated. Immediately after completing a prior copulation, the male almost invariably makes only brief temporary union of the genitalia with a previously mated female before releasing his hold. Release is equally frequent whether the female be the male's original mate or the original mate of another male. In contrast, recently mated males frequently complete copulation at the first attempt with young virgin females, and virgin males almost invariably complete with recently mated females. The behaviour of sexually experienced individuals was found to depend on male sensitivity (acquired during copulation) to female defensive grooming before and after establishment of genital union. Defensive grooming provides the stimulus to which the sensitive male responds by releasing the female. Male sensitivity to the stimulus declines with passage of time since his last copulation.

Affiliations: 1: Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory 2), Vero Beach, Florida, U.S.A.


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