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      Courtship and mating behaviour in the parasitoid wasp Cotesia urabae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae): mate location and the influence of competition and body size on male mating success.

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          Abstract

          Cotesia urabae is a solitary larval endoparasitoid that was introduced into New Zealand in 2011 as a classical biological control agent against Uraba lugens. A detailed knowledge of its reproductive biology is required to optimize mass rearing efficiency. In this study, the courtship and mating behaviour of C. urabae is described and investigated from a series of experiments, conducted to understand the factors that influence male mating success. Cotesia urabae males exhibited a high attraction to virgin females but not mated females, whereas females showed no attraction to either virgin or mated males. Male mating success was highest in the presence of a male competitor. Also, the time to mate was shorter and copulation duration was longer when a male competitor was present. Larger male C. urabae had greater mating success than smaller males when paired together with a single female. This knowledge can now be utilized to improve mass rearing methods of C. urabae for the future.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Bull. Entomol. Res.
          Bulletin of entomological research
          Cambridge University Press (CUP)
          1475-2670
          0007-4853
          Aug 2017
          : 107
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ] The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited,Mt Albert,Private Bag 92169,Auckland 1142,New Zealand.
          [2 ] Better Border Biosecurity,New Zealand.
          [3 ] School of Biological Sciences,The University of Auckland,Private Bag 92019,Auckland 1142,New Zealand.
          Article
          S0007485316001127
          10.1017/S0007485316001127
          27974053

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