Giovanni Benelli, Angelo Canale
Journal of Insect Science 13 (25), 1-11, (1 April 2013) https://doi.org/10.1673/031.013.2501
KEYWORDS: Adaptive behavior, courtship, experience, mating, Opiinae, wing fanning
The role of male-male courtship in parasitic Hymenoptera is poorly known. A laboratory study was conducted to assess if Psyttalia concolor (Szépligeti) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) male courtship can be affected by a previous experience in courting young conspecifics of both sexes. Two experiments were performed to evaluate the effect of experience in courting young wasps on both male courtship and male-male competition behavior. Results showed that a courting experience on both sexes can modify some sexual traits in a P. concolor male, without affecting its success in mating. When approaching virgin females, a P. concolor male that had a previous courtship experience with young wasps of either sex showed shorter latency times, more wing fanning, and longer courtship durations with respect to the control male. The hypothesis that a previous courting experience may allow a P. concolor male to refine its courtship behavior and to enhance courtship intensity in subsequent encounters with females was discussed.