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Synergy in information use for mate finding: demonstration in a parasitoid wasp

Abstract : In many animals, mating takes place after natal dispersal. Consequently, use of reliable information is required to increase the probability of encounters between the sexes. Most of the studies on mate finding in parasitoid insects have focused on the role of a single information source: a sex pheromone. Other sources have been mostly ignored. We studied the nature of olfactory information used for mate finding by the parasitoid Venturia canescens both at a distance and at host patch level, and investigated how this information is used. We tested which sex attracts the other and whether mate location is improved by combining different sources of information. We found that males simultaneously used two types of olfactory cues to find their mate: information directly related to females and an environmental cue provided by hosts. Male efficiency in locating virgin females was enhanced threefold by the association of females with hosts, whereas host patches, on their own, were unattractive to males. Our results also suggest that females emit a volatile pheromone. At the host patch level, males used chemical marks left by females foraging for hosts. These results led us to consider the distinction between signals and cues and we suggest that the volatile pheromone emitted by the females, always described as a signal, could rather be a cue. Although evidence for a volatile sex pheromone is pervasive in parasitoids, our study stresses the role of other cues in mate-finding strategies.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02658129
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 30, 2020 - 11:44:14 AM
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Marie Metzger, Deborah Fischbein, Alexandra Auguste, Xavier Fauvergue, Carlos Bernstein, et al.. Synergy in information use for mate finding: demonstration in a parasitoid wasp. Animal Behaviour, Elsevier Masson, 2010, 79 (6), pp.1307-1315. ⟨10.1016/j.anbehav.2010.03.003⟩. ⟨hal-02658129⟩

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