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Middle aged wasps mate through most of the year, without regard to body size, ovarian development and nestmateship: a laboratory study of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata

Sen, R and Samudre, S and Shilpa, MC and Tarak, R Chitra and Gadagkar, Raghavendra (2010) Middle aged wasps mate through most of the year, without regard to body size, ovarian development and nestmateship: a laboratory study of the primitively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata. In: Insectes Sociaux, 57 (1). pp. 95-103.

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Abstract

We studied the mating behaviour of the primi-tively eusocial wasp Ropalidia marginata and the factors that may influence sperm transfer. By introducing a male and a female R. marginata into ventilated transparent plastic boxes, we were able to observe mating behaviour, and it involved mounting and short or long conjugation of the wasps. Dissection of female wasps after the observation indicated that long conjugation is a good behavioural predictor of sperm transfer. This finding makes it possible to obtain mated females without dissecting them every time. We tested the effect of age, season, relatedness, body size and female's ovarian status on mating. Under laboratory conditions, mating success declined rapidly below and above the ages 5-20 days. Within this age range mating success was significantly low in December compared to other months tested. There was no nestmate discrimination, and there was no influence of male and female body size or of the ovarian state of the female on the probability of sperm transfer.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Birkhauser Basel.
Keywords: Sperm transfer; Age; Nestmate discrimination; Male wasps
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010 09:53
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:54
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/25465

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