Interactions Between SwarmingChironomus annularius(Diptera: Chironomidae) Males: Role of Acoustic Behavior


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Abstract

Males of swarming species of chironomids use their auditory system (Johnston's organs) to recognize a female within swarm and do not respond to male flight tones. However, in some cases the male–male interactions were observed at a high frequency. The role of acoustic behavior in this phenomenon in C. annularius was studied. The results showed that male Johnston's organs were sensitive to male flight tones from a distance of about 1–1.5 cm. The carrier frequencies of these sounds negatively correlated with male body size. Thus we would expect that male–male interactions will occur mainly between large males. Nonetheless, the analysis of caught pairs revealed that in both male–male and female–male interactions small males had an advantage. The ability of males to perceive the male flight tones is discussed with respect to swarming behavior and mating success.

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