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Predation and the Evolution of Precopula in the Isopod Asellus Aquaticus

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1. The predatory behaviour of the smooth newt (Triturus vulgaris) on the isopod Asellus aquaticus was studied and the typical predatory sequence described. 2. Male Asellus in precopula experience a reduced risk of predation relative to single males. They seem to show an antipredator behaviour which 'confuses' the newt. 3. Precopula was probably influenced by both natural and sexual selection during the course of its evolution in this isopod.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA, England


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