The smell of virgins: mating status of females affects male swimming behaviour in Oithona davisae

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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Many copepod species rely on pheromone cues to find partners. Some parasitic
and benthic copepod males are able to distinguish between females of different reproductive
states. Here, we demonstrate that the swimming activity and velocity of males of a pelagic copepod, Oithona davisae, increases in the presence of virgin when compared with mated females and that the cue is waterborne. The ability to distinguish between virgin and mated females may reduce male mortality during mate search and the cost related to mating behaviour (precopula) in both sexes. We estimate that at realistic population densities the ability of males to distinguish between virgin and mated females saves them several hours per day of dangerous and energetically expensive fast female tracking
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Publication date2012
Volume34
Issue11
Pages929-935
ISSN0142-7873
DOIs
StatePublished
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 6
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