Life History Courtship

Adult male and female Auchenorrhyncha locate each other by means of species-specific acoustic courtship signals. These signals are produced by specialized organs at the base of the abdomen called tymbals, present in both sexes (except female cicadas). A few cicadas and planthoppers are also able to use the stridulatory surfaces of their wings to produce sound. The loud, sometimes deafening, calls of many male cicadas are well known. In noncicadoids, the courtship calls are usually inaudible, being transmitted through the substrate, and distinct tympana are absent. The calls of some leafhoppers and planthoppers, audible only with special amplifying equipment, are among the most complex and beautiful of any produced by insects. Males move from plant to plant, signaling until they receive a response from a female. In addition to intensification of the vibrational signals, precopulatory behavior in some species may involve the male buzzing or flapping the wings, tapping the female with the legs, or repeatedly walking around or over the female. Copulation involves insertion of the male aedeagus into the female vulva at the base of the ovipositor and may last from a second or less to several hours, depending on the species. Females of most species seem to mate only once, while males often mate several times.

0 0

Post a comment