Well-developed antennae are crucial for many insects, but especially for scramble competitors, who race to find their mates using female sex cues. In these systems, the ability of males to locate females quickly is thought to be under strong selection. A rarely tested assumption is that males with more sensory structures are able to locate females faster. In the present study, we used the false garden mantid Pseudomantis albofimbriata to investigate male antennal morphology and its effect on male efficiency in finding a mate. We used scanning electron microscopy to describe the major sensilla types and their arrangement along the length of male antennae. We also conducted field enclosure trials relating male antennal morphology to scramble competition in this system. We identified six different types of antennal sensilla (cheatic, trichoid, basiconic, grooved peg, ceolocapitular and campaniform) on male P. albofimbriata antennae. As expected, males who had more trichoid sensilla located females quicker than did males with fewer sensilla. Results of the current study suggest that antenna morphology plays a significant role in mate location and hence scramble competition in the P. albofimbriata mating system.
Naturwissenschaften – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 23, 2017
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