Mating behaviour of males of Glossina pallidipes Austen (Diptera: Glonidae)

  • Jaenson T
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The sexual behaviour of males of Glossina pallidipes Aust. from the Kibwezi Forest and Lambwe Valley in Kenya was investigated in the laboratory. Most observations were on the Kibwezi strain. Three copulatory phases were recognised, marked by male courtship, female buzzing and male jerking with ejaculation. Maturation of copulatory behaviour occurred in advance of ability to inseminate. All males copulated by day 10 and all copulating males inseminated by day 12. Insemination took place only if the jerking phase was present, but neither the occurrence of this phase nor the ejection of a spermatophore proved that insemination had taken place. The degree of insemination showed no general relation to age in previously unmated males. The jerking phase was generally shorter in non-inseminating than in inseminating copulations, although duration of copulation showed no obvious relation to the frequency and degree of insemination. The duration of copulation decreased with increasing age of previously unmated males between 10 and 30 days old. Copulation duration was strain-specific while the jerking phase duration was not, suggesting that the length of the pretransmission period (courtship phase plus female buzzing phase) is strain-dependent. In Kibwezi Forest, sexually appetitive (head-down) behaviour among males caught off a moving vehicle was, in general, not observed among teneral and old males. Head-up and head-down males had small and large amounts of abdominal fat-body, respectively, and both had little gut content. Head-down males exhibited comparatively low activity at dawn and dusk and relatively high midday activity. The findings are discussed in relation to the laboratory rearing of G. pallidipes

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  • T. G.T. Jaenson

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