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Courtship and mating behavior of the cockroach Oxyhaloa deusta [Thunberg, 1784] (Blaberidae, Oxyhaloinae): Attraction bioassays and morphology of the pheromone sources

Abstract : In this paper, we focus on the reproductive behavior of the cockroach Oxyhaloa deusta. Within the Oxyhaloinae subfamily, mating strategies and glandular areas involved in pheromone production have been studied for several genera belonging to the Nauphoetini and Gromphadorhini tribes. However, this is the first time that courtship and mating behavior have been explored within the genus Oxyhaloa, and in a more general way within the Oxyhaloini tribe. This work, comprising behavioral observations, olfactometric bio-assays and morphological data, highlights unusual behaviors and novelties in potential sex pheromone gland location, in both males (tergite 8) and females (supra-valvular area). Surprisingly, our results also indicate that mate finding is initiated by the female. This is quite remarkable inasmuch as the Oxyhaloinae subfamily is the only cockroach group in which males initiate mate finding by means of a sex pheromone, emitted during the calling posture by extending abdominal tergites. In the Oxyhaloinae subfamily, this occurrence of various reproductive behavioral patterns (including all the mating patterns known at present in Blattaria) in closely-related species is striking, and makes this group a suitable model for studying the changes in mating behavior correlated with the location of sexual glands.
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Marie-Hélène Lizée, Bernard Barascud, Jean-Pierre Cornec, Leam Sreng. Courtship and mating behavior of the cockroach Oxyhaloa deusta [Thunberg, 1784] (Blaberidae, Oxyhaloinae): Attraction bioassays and morphology of the pheromone sources. Journal of Insect Behavior, Springer Verlag, 2017, 30 (6), pp.674 - 694. ⟨10.1007/s10905-017-9648-7⟩. ⟨hal-01790067⟩

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