Courtship and Mate-Finding in Insects

A Comparative Approach

September 2023
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    6th September 2023
  • ISBN 9781789248609
  • Language English
  • Pages 704 pp.
  • Size 7" x 9"
  • Images color photos throughout

This book explores mate-finding and courtship behavior in the insect world, in all its subtlety and diversity.

Insects engage in courtship as much, or as little, as any other animal; they have songs and dances, and all manner of instruments and ornaments to attract and court the opposite sex. Insects have evolved complex chemical and acoustic communication systems, sending fragrant messages, visual signals and subtle vibrations to attract and persuade. Insects also have many different ways and means of choosing or rejecting mating partners.

This beautifully illustrated book shows the incredible variety of courtship behaviors and celebrates the wonderful natural history of a wide range of insects. Varieties of courtship can occur before, during and even after copulation, and numerous examples of the different mating strategies used are presented.

As well as being fascinating and entertaining, studying courtship is also useful. For example, a knowledge of the courtship and mating behavior of important pests helps researchers understand the dynamics of mate choice and sexual selection. Knowing which behaviors are directly related with mating success can be used to improve behavior-based control strategies and improve sterile insect techniques. Knowledge of sex pheromones, and mating behavior, can be combined to manage insect pests by mass or mating disruption.

By studying model species - such as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster - researchers have discovered how genes control and influence courtship behavior, via proteins, biochemical pathways and neural circuits. This book integrates these diverse fields into a framework constructed around courtship and mate-finding, bringing together studies from the laboratory and the field.

This landmark volume will be of interest to students of biology, entomologists, naturalists and anyone with a desire to know more about the love lives of the small creatures with which we share the planet.

Key Points
• Comprehensive - bringing together information from diverse sources
• Comparative - integrating studies and drawing conclusions
• Wide ranging - of interest to students and scholars from a wide range of disciplines
• Beautifully illustrated with full color photographs throughout.

1. Introduction
2. Drosophila courtship behaviour
3. Mate finding strategies
 I. Waiting and seeking
4. Mate finding strategies
 II. Hill-topping, guarding, and excavating
5. Mate calling (long range)
6. Swarming and lekking
7. Cues, signals, and advertising
8. Sex roles, ornamentation, and role reversals
9. Courtship I. Precopulatory courtship behaviour
10. Courtship II. Copulatory and post-copulatory courtship behaviour
11. Attracting and stimulating the other sex (near range courtship)
 I. Songs and instruments
12. Attracting and stimulating the other sex (near range courtship)
 II. Dances and displays
13. Attracting and stimulating the other sex (near range courtship)
 III. Rhythmic movements
14. Chemical communication I. Sex pheromones for Long-range attraction in insects
15. Volatile sex pheromones in non-lepidopteran insects
16. Short-range and contact pheromones
17. Choosing, rejecting and mate choice
18. Grasping, clasping, and forcing: pre-mating struggles and sexual conflicts
19. Courtship feeding and nuptial gifts
20. Discussion and conclusions
21. Epilogue

Raymond J. C. Cannon

Raymond J. C. Cannon is formerly of the Food and Environment Research Agency, UK.

courtship behaviour; courtship behavior; insect behaviour; insect behavior; entomology; sexual selection; sex determination; mating; reproductive physiology; reproductive strategy; evolutionary strategy; insect ecology; insect conservation; biodiversity; chemical ecology; insect pheromones; courtship display