The scramble competition mating system of the sphecid wasp Palmodes praestans (Kohl)

John Alcock*, Darrell J. Kemp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Males of the wasp Palmodes praestans engage in non-territorial patrolling behaviour within a scramble competition mating system, showing great fidelity to their wide-ranging patrolling routes without attempting to monopolize the areas covered. Scramble competition appears adaptive given that mating opportunities are not spatially aggregated in this species, whose females build isolated, single-celled nests. Because of the female distribution pattern, a male's reproductive success in P. praestans probably depends upon the ability to find highly scattered, unmated females. The females of some close relatives of this sphecid wasp form fairly dense nesting aggregations. As mating system theory predicts, the males of some (but not all) of these species focus their searching at these concentrated nesting/emergence sites where potential mates are clustered spatially.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2809-2814
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Natural History
Volume39
Issue number30
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Mating tactics
  • Palmodes praestans
  • Sphecidae
  • Sphex

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