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First come, first served: precopulatory mate-guarding behavior and male–male contests by a hymenopteran saproxylic parasitoid

Kuramitsu, Kazumu, Yooboon, Thitaree, Tomatsuri, Morihiko, Yamada, Hideo, Yokoi, Tomoyuki
Die Naturwissenschaften 2019 v.106 no.5-6 pp. 23
Ibalia, Isopoda, Magnolia liliiflora, aquatic crustaceans, copulation, insects, males, mate guarding, parasitic wasps, reproductive success, trees, vertebrates, virgin females, Japan
Precopulatory mate-guarding behavior is a common strategy that maximizes male reproductive success when female receptivity to copulation is low. This behavior has been demonstrated in vertebrates, aquatic crustaceans, terrestrial isopods, and some species of insects, but there is very little available information about hymenopteran insects. A few studies have clarified the factor that determines the outcome of a contest between a guarding male and an invader male. We investigated the male–male contest and mating behavior of a saproxylic parasitoid wasp, Ibalia japonica (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Ibaliidae) using field observations in Japan. These observations indicated that I. japonica males show precopulatory mate-guarding behavior and that four types of male–male contests occur on the Magnolia liliiflora (Magnoliales: Magnoliaceae) tree that virgin females emerge from. We show that the arrival order of I. japonica males that found the future emergence point of a female was key factor that allowed males to secure virgin females.