Finding a partner to mate with may be only part of ensuring successful siring of offspring. Females often exhibit cryptic female choice (CFC) during or after copulation, which can influence whose sperm from her multiple partners is chosen for egg fertilization. Known behavioral mechanisms for CFC include assessment of males by their nuptial gifts, duration of copulation, and seminal fluid contents. In this study, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), behaviors during the course of copulation were investigated. Glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) use vibrational communication before copulation occurs. However, little is known about behaviors that occur during and after copulation. Results from this study determined that vibrational signaling also occurs during copulation. Vibrational signals similar to those emitted during precopulatory communication were identified during copulation alongside a new, ‘hum-like’ signal that typically occurred within 10 s after the pair joined in copulation. In addition, results determined the duration of copulation was on average of 15 h, though with a 10-h range (8.5–18.5 h) among observed male–female pairs. Finally, both males and females mated more than once. Collectively, results identified key reproductive parameters required for CFC to occur in GWSS. The study expands on the known animals that use CFC and emphasizes the role that copulatory vibrational communication may play setting the foundations for future more in-depth studies. Understanding of insect behaviors necessary for successful production of offspring is important from an ecological perspective and for development of pest control methods.
Gordon SD, Krugner R. 2021. Copulatory Signaling and Polygamy of Glassy-Winged Sharpshooters (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 114(4):522–527