COURTSHIP AND MATING IN LARIOPHAGUS DISTINGUENDUS (FÖRST.) KURDJ. (HYMENOPTERA, PTEROMALIDAE) by J. VAN DEN ASSEM (Department of Zoology, University of Leiden, The Netherlands) . I. INTRODUCTION . In all groups of animals which practise a form of copulation, some pattern of exchange of information has been developed to precede copulation proper. Such a pattern can be called courtship. The behav- iour involved may be extremely simple or astonishingly complex. Ethologists have always paid much attention to courtship behaviour. This is not merely because of a professional pre-occupation with sex. One of the reasons of this interest certainly is the great diversity in appearance of courtship behaviour, which is the outcome of its devel- opment as a system of unambiguous communication between indivi- duals of opposite sex. Courtship behaviour functions to increase the probability of an effective fertilisation, following the coming together of the correct partners at the right moment. If a fertilisation is to be effective, it has to be ensured before that the partners are indeed compatible. This calls for the development of a system of communica- tion that leaves no doubt about the identity and the physiological state of the individuals involved. In insects it is
Netherlands Journal of Zoology (in 2003 continued as Animal Biology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1969
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