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“Riding” behaviour by males of Conops quadrifasciata (Diptera: Conopidae): Do females set up “riders” as targets for takeovers by larger males?

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Abstract:

Males of Conops quadrifasciata “claim” females in late morning and then spend the rest of the day exposed as “riders” to attacks by other males. Male riders can respond to an attack by performing an abdomen‐lift which denies the attacker access to the female's genitalia. Attacking males can tailor their behaviour to suit the prevailing conditions. If a rider is engaged in a “repeat” copulation (as he does at regular intervals), the attacker “waits” beside the rider. If the rider is not in genitalic contact with the female, the attacker tries to mate with her immediately. It is proposed that females deliberately expose their riders to takeovers in order to gain the fittest mate.

Keywords: Conopidae; Diptera; flies; mating behaviour; post‐copulatory guarding; riders

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00222930500533740

Affiliations: Bodmin, Cornwall, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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