Male courtship during copulation is common in insects and spiders, and presumably serves to induce the female to fertilize her eggs with the male's sperm. Fragmentary observations indicate that in Ditemnus acantholobus, typical male and female roles are reversed. The female courts vigorously and persistently during copulation while keeping one portion of the male's highly modified pronotum inside her buccal cavity. I propose that female copulatory courtship in this species functions to induce the male to provide material from his pronotum for the female to ingest, and that the species-specific modifications of the male pronotum are courtship devices.
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Vol. 79 • No. 1