To clarify whether adult male spider mite Tetranychus kanzawai Kishida can recognize the mating status of conspecific females, male preference for virgin and mated females was tested under dual choice conditions. Thirty of 36 males approached virgin females first, indicating that males can perceive female mating status. Males preferred trails made by virgin females to those made by mated females (the ratio was 19:2). Moreover, males also probably used odors to discriminate the mating status of females. These abilities of males may play an important role in gaining access to virgin females. Alternatively, behavior of adult females varied with their mating status. Virgin females were more gregarious and remained on infested kidney bean leaves for a longer time than mated females. This behavior is likely to increase the mating opportunities of virgin T. kanzawai females.
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Vol. 98 • No. 4