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The effects of experience on the development of sexual behaviour of males and females of the banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens).

  • Machteld Verzijden
  • Sunny K Scobell
  • Erik Svensson
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 180-189
Publication/Series: Behavioural Processes
Volume: 109
Issue: Online 2 September 2014
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Elsevier

Abstract english

Mate preferences can vary in the direction of the preference, as well as the strength of the preference, and both direction and strength of preference are known to be plastic in many species. Preferences might have a learned component, and current and past social context may influence an individual's choosiness. In the damselfly species Calopteryx splendens, females increase the strength of their mate preferences with sexual experience. Here we show that sexually naïve females selectively respond to conspecific courtship as soon as physical contact has been established, suggesting a role for tactile cues perceived through interspecific morphological differences in secondary reproductive traits. In addition our data also shows that males and females selectively respond to the intensity of the courtship of the potential, conspecific mate, while ignoring such information in heterospecific potential mates. These results underscore that mate choice is the result of dynamic interactions between the sexes, where both current and past information are integrated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cognition in the Wild.


  • Biological Sciences


  • BECC
  • ISSN: 0376-6357
E-mail: erik [dot] svensson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Evolutionary ecology

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