Mating behavior of Trissolcus basalis (Wollaston) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae): potential for outbreeding in a predominantly inbreeding species

Andrew Loch, Gimme Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The mating behavior of the quasi-gregarious egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis (Wollaston) was investigated under field conditions. Trissolcus basalis has female-biased sex ratios and is a protandrous species, with males emerging 1'2 days before females. Males competed aggressively for control of the egg mass, with one male assuming dominance and control of the egg mass, although changes in dominance occurred at least once on each egg mass observed. Typical mating behavior involved the dominant male mating his sisters immediately upon their emergence from the egg mass. These behaviors are characteristic of an inbreeding species that manifests local mate competition. However, several aspects of the mating behavior of T. basalis are inconsistent with that of an inbreeding species. Over 18% of emerging females were not mated by the dominant male upon emergence, 13% of females were not observed to be mated at all and may have left their natal site as virgins, 25% of females were mated multiple times and sometimes by multiple males, females remained near the natal site for up to several hours after emergence before emigrating, and males dispersed away from the natal site during female emergence. Trissolcus basalis may be a predominantly inbreeding species but its emergence and mating behavior suggest that low-frequency outbreeding is also likely to occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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