Mate location and antennal morphology in the praying mantid Hierodula majuscula

Louise E. Allen*, Katherine L. Barry, Gregory I. Holwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Many sensory modes can be exploited to determine the location of potential mates. In insects, long-distance location primarily involves chemical or acoustic cues, whereas short-distance communication mainly utilises visual or tactile cues. The structural complexity of the environment may influence the transmission of information, and therefore, it is common to see multiple sensory modes employed to increase the likelihood of accurate mate location. Praying mantids are known to use airborne chemicals for long-distance location and visual cues in close proximity. This study examined which types of cues are used for mate location in an unstudied species, Hierodula majuscula, from Queensland, Australia. The timing of female pheromone emission during 'calling' periods reached a peak at 3:00h, with the majority of females assuming a calling posture at this time. Scanning electron microscopy was used to confirm the presence of basiconic sensilla (used for chemical reception) on male antennae, and males successfully responded to female chemical cues and subsequently located potential mates. Males were not as successful at finding females when restricted to using visual cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Entomology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012

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